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Pedro Martinez in new memoir: ‘The blame was my own’ for 2003 Game 7 loss to Yankees 05.01.15 at 1:14 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez opens up about the disappointing end to the 2003 Red Sox season in his new autobiography. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez‘s new memoir, “Pedro,” is set to be released Tuesday. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated released some excerpts, dealing mainly with the 2003 Red Sox season and the rivalry with the Yankees.

The 2015 Hall of Fame selection discusses the memorable fight with New York in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, in which Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer charged Martinez, who pushed the 72-year-old aside.

“In my entire baseball career, my reaction to Zimmer’s charge is my only regret,” Martinez wrote, adding: “All I did was help him fall faster. Pure instinct. I also felt he wasn’t going to hurt himself. Andy Pettitte came over, laughing. He said, ‘Zim, what are you doing?’ The fight broke up as everyone tended to Zimmer, who had a scratch in between his eyes but luckily was fine.”

Red Sox fans remember that series for the 11th-inning, Game 7 home run by Aaron Boone off of Tim Wakefield, ending Boston’s season.

“Boone’s 11th-inning home run off of Wakefield ended the last tragic chapter in the Red Sox‘ 85-year World Series drought. I wanted to cry,” Martinez said. “All of us were stunned, but we felt the worst for Wakey, who was sitting in front of his locker, his head buried in his hands. One by one, we walked over to put an arm around him: ‘Hey, man, it’s not your fault.’ ”

Martinez started that game, and he agrees with the generally accepted feeling in Boston that he was left in the game for too long by manager Grady Little, although he said it was his own responsibility for blowing a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning.

“I could have easily gotten an out if only I had executed. I didn’t execute, and it cost Little his job — and us a trip to the World Series,” Martinez said. “It wasn’t Little’s fault, and it wasn’t Wakey’s fault. The blame was my own.”

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Pedro Martinez (not John Smoltz) will be represented with Red Sox hat in Hall of Fame 01.22.15 at 11:52 am ET
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Pedro Martinez (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez will be wearing a Red Sox hat on his Hall of Fame hat. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

To nobody’s surprise, Pedro Martinez‘ Hall of Fame plaque will show him wearing a Red Sox hat, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.

Martinez won two of his three Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox, while also helping the Sox to their first world championship in 86 years with the pitcher’s 2004 performance.

“I cannot be any prouder to take Red Sox Nation to the Hall of Fame with the logo on my plaque,” Martinez said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame. “I am extremely proud to represent Boston and all of New England with my Hall of Fame career. I’€™m grateful to all of the teams for which I played, and especially fans, for making this amazing honor come true.”

Martinez played with the Red Sox for seven seasons, while totaling four with Montreal and the Mets. He originally came up in the Dodgers’ organization, where the righty spent two big league seasons. Martinez finished off his career with the Phillies in 2009.

The plaque will be unveiled during the 2015 Hall of Fame class’ induction in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 26.

“The Museum staff works with each inductee by suggesting an appropriate logo option, or no logo at all,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “For those whose most compelling contributions clearly took place with one team, a logo makes sense. For those whose careers were built significantly among multiple teams, not having a team logo is equally acceptable. Regardless of the selection, a Hall of Famer belongs to every team for which he played or managed, as well as every fan who followed his career.”

It was also announced that the plaque for John Smoltz (who spent part of the 2009 season with the Red Sox) would feature the pitcher wearing a Braves cap, Randy Johnson is being represented as a member of the Diamondbacks, and Craig Biggio will go in as an Astro.

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Pedro Martinez among honorees at Writers Dinner 01.21.15 at 4:30 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez is one of the leading candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot that was announced Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez will be honored at Thursday’s writers dinner at BU. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez will be the guest of honor at Thursday night’s Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, which will be held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

Martinez, who was just elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, will receive the Judge Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service to baseball.

One of the most colorful players in Red Sox history, Martinez retired with the third-highest winning percentage in modern history (.687). He won two of his three Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox, and with the exception of an injury-shortened 2001, finished no worse than fourth in any of his seven seasons here.

Other current and former Red Sox expected to be in attendance include infielder Brock Holt, outfielder Mookie Betts, general manager Ben Cherington, and manager John Farrell. Bernie Carbo will be on hand to honor the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Red Sox, who lost a classic World Series to the Reds in seven games.

Also expected to be in attendance are Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter of the Orioles, whom the writers voted their Executive and Manager of the Year, respectively, as well as Marlins closer Steve Cishek, the Falmouth native voted the New England Player of the Year.

Boston is one of just three cities left that holds a Writers Dinner, along with New York and St. Louis. This is the 76th annual edition of the dinner, which is presented in partnership with the Sports Museum. Tickets remain available for $200 and can be purchased by contacting Renee Quinn at (617) 624-1231 or by e-mailing rfraker@dncboston.com.

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Curt Schilling to D&C on Hall of Fame balloting: ‘I can’t spend my time being concerned about people’s opinions of me that I’ll never meet’ 01.07.15 at 10:46 am ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday, after falling short of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the former Red Sox star said he believes some writers won’t ever vote for him because of his political leanings. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling received 39.2 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Four players were elected: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio and former Sox star Pedro Martinez, whose surprisingly low 91.1 percent result was more evidence to Schilling that something is wrong.

“The process isn’t flawed; stupid people do stupid things,” Schilling said. “I’ve seen so many in the past, voters making their vote into a news article, protesting this or protesting that, except just voting the player on his playing merits. And that’s normal, I guess, because we’re human, we all have bias, we all have prejudice. When Pedro gets 91 percent, that tells you something’s wrong.”

A case could me made that Schilling’s statistics are comparable to those of Smoltz, yet the Braves legend received 240 more votes. Schilling said Smoltz deserves enshrinement, but he noted that Smoltz’s political views are more consistent with many media members.

“I think he got in because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine. I think the fact that they won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss army knife versatility,’ which somebody said yesterday, I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Schilling said. “And I think the other big thing is that I think he’s a Democrat and so I know that, as a Republican, that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”

A proud conservative, Schilling has been outspoken in his support for Republican candidates. He also received heavy criticism when he moved his video game company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to take advantage of government assistance and then the company went bankrupt.

Schilling said there’s no question that he would have received more votes had he been more mainstream in his beliefs and less outspoken and controversial.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Listen, when human beings do something, anything, there’s bias and prejudice. Listen, 9 percent of the voters did not vote for Pedro. There’s something wrong with the process and some of the people in the process when that happens. I don’t think that it kept me [out] or anything like that, but I do know that there are guys who probably won’t ever vote for me because of the things that I said or did. That’s the way it works.”

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Read More: Curt Schilling, hall of fame, john smoltz, mike piazza
Pedro Martinez: ‘Great honor’ to ‘embarrass’ PED users when playing 01.06.15 at 6:25 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez earned 91.1 percent of the vote to become the 16th first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Ryan Hannable/WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez earned 91.1 percent of the vote to become the 16th first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher. (Ryan Hannable/WEEI.com)

Playing in the era that he did, Pedro Martinez could look to make excuses for a few of the home runs he gave up, a few games he lost, etc.

After all, he did play in the height of the steroid era, but that isn’t who Martinez is — he embraced it and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way — and that is why Martinez was voted into the Hall of Fame Tuesday on his first year on the ballot.

Martinez received 91.1 percent of the votes (500 of the 549) and will be inducted along with Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio on July 26 in Cooperstown. He became one of 50 players ever to be inducted in their first-ballot and one of 16 first-ballot pitchers.

“I appreciate the fact that I had to face probably the toughest matchup out there, and guess what? I didn’t want it any other way,” Martinez said Tuesday at a press conference at Fenway Park. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wanted to beat the best. I wanted to be the best I could be every time I went out there. I wanted to embarrass the best team out there. I wanted to. I meant to. Sometimes they embarrassed me, but when I got a hold of them, I did embarrass them.

“Anytime I had an opportunity to embarrass any team in the big leagues, including the ones that used PEDs, it was a great honor to do it. The same way every homer I surrendered, every game I lost, I am proud of. I am proud that I did it in an era that the challenge was at the top.”

The right-hander was a three-time Cy Young Award winner and an eight-time All-Star. During his 18-year career he went 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. His career .687 winning percentage ranks second among modern major leaguer’s since 1900. Among pitchers with at least 2,500 career innings in the majors, only Nolan Ryan (.204) has a lower opponent batting average than Martinez (.214).

Martinez said he had plenty of chances to go the “long way” and not be clean, but instead he chose to miss two or three starts a year, which sometimes came with criticism in the media. He said that is all worth it now.

“I went the long way, the way I had to go,” said Martinez. “The way that the integrity my mom and dad taught me to have, led me to. And when I said I kept it clean — I did it clean — I did it the only way I know. I didn’t believe in anybody’s choice to go out there and I wanted to do it clean. I had an opportunity more than once, [probably every day] to take the short path to a more successful year and escape the criticism from the media and being singled out for someone who is going to miss two or three outings a year. Yes, I chose to miss those three outings and now have the respect and appreciation guys are having for me today.”

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Read More: Craig Biggio, john smoltz, pedro martinez, randy johnson
My not-so-super secret way to start any Hall of Fame conversation at 11:41 am ET
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Nomar Garciaparra has an interesting Hall of Fame candidacy. (Getty Images)

Nomar Garciaparra has an interesting Hall of Fame candidacy. (Getty Images)

This is what we’ve learned after the annual round of Hall of Fame discussion leading into Tuesday afternoon’s big announcement: it is an unbelievably flawed process.

The uncertainty and fragility that goes into deciding who will be next to enter into the MLB Hall of Fame is what makes the dead-of-winter baseball conversation so spicy. There are a lot of good solutions surfaced, yet none have offered any definition as to how these guys should be elected going forward.

Different eras and performance-enhancing-drug suspensions have clouded a world that is almost always driven by statistics. That’s why I prefer to start — that’s just start, not finish — any conversations with a simple (and probably somewhat flawed) mechanism:

– For hitters, how many times did they finish in the Top 10 in MVP voting.
– For pitchers, how many times did they receive Cy Young votes.

Here is the reason for this approach: it shows a dominance in a player’s era, no matter what the era is. The stats will go up and down (the MLB average OPS this past season dipped to .700 from .782 in 2000), but perceived elite status during that particular time span is what it was.

(Yes, I am one who is mostly in favor of voting in those formally and informally tied to PEDs.)

To me, the dominance in the era argument was a key talking point when looking at Jim Rice‘s candidacy. Six times Rice finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting. Six! Craig Biggio? Twice. Frank Thomas? Six. Barry Larkin? Once.

Let’s stop for a second and remind everybody: this is just to start the debate, not to punctuate it.

Pitchers? Randy Johnson received Cy Young votes 10 times, winning the award five times. Pedro Martinez got votes seven times, claiming the Cy on three occasions. Curt Schilling got votes four times, the same as Hall of Famer Burt Blyleven. Schilling finished second for the award three times, with Blyleven’s highest finish maxing out at third during a career that ran 22 seasons.

I do believe longevity with consistent performance puts somewhat of a dent in this philosophy, but shouldn’t wash away the theory.

Carl Yastrzemski belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he also finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting the same number of times as Dwight Evans (4), who deserves a closer look.

Of the candidates on the current ballot, perhaps one of the most interesting when looking at Nomar Garciaparra. Five times Garciaparra finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting, with one 11th-place finish. He only managed one Top 5 showing, placing second in 1998.

Garciaparra, however, just wasn’t quite dominant enough for a long enough stretch. Realistically, he played about the same amount of seasons as a regular as Rice did while totaling a higher OPS (.882-.854). But, using the aforementioned formula, Garciappara wasn’t nearly as dominant during his era.

Don Mattingly has been compared to Garciaparra when surfacing the former Red Sox shortstop, although Mattingly, while also playing for 14 seasons, had three Top 5 MVP finishes (winning once), and four Top 10’s. The former Yankees first baseman has been voted on since 2001, totaling 28.2 percent in that first year of eligibility. In ’14, he received 8.2 percent of the vote.

Some other on-the-bubble candidates: Mike Piazza finished Top 10 seven times, with four Top 5 showings; Tim Raines had three Top 10’s and one Top 5; Jeff Bagwell notched five Top 10 finishes, with two Top 5’s.

Flawed? Yes. As good a conversation springboard as anything else we’ve dug up? Absolutely.

Discuss …

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Pedro Martinez among headliners on HOF ballot announced Monday 11.24.14 at 12:36 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez is one of the leading candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot that was announced Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez is one of the leading candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot that was announced Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Hall of Fame ballot announced Monday includes a trio of standout pitchers, including Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez, who should take headlines back from the stars who were tainted by Major League Baseball‘s steroid era.

Joining Martinez as first-time candidates are five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson, who amassed 4,875 career strikeouts (second only to Nolan Ryan), and Braves legend John Smoltz, who is the only pitcher to record 200 wins and 150 saves.

Martinez, who won two Cy Youngs, compiled a 219-100 career record with 3,154 strikeouts.

Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra also makes his first appearance on the ballot.

Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa — all linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs — are back. Clemens and Bonds both received 35 percent of the votes last year, well below the number needed for admission. McGwire dipped to 11 percent, and he only has two more years of candidacy. Sosa fell to 7 percent last year, and if he dips below 5 percent he’ll be removed from future ballots.

Results will be announced Jan. 6. The induction ceremony is scheduled for July 26.

Read More: barry bonds, john smoltz, Nomar Garciaparra, pedro martinez
Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra talk Jon Lester, Cooperstown and more at Fenway Park 08.14.14 at 2:13 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez crashes Roger Clemens interview Thursday at Fenway Park. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Pedro Martinez crashes Roger Clemens interview Thursday at Fenway Park. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

It was a blast from the past Thursday morning at Fenway Park, as three new members of the Red Sox Hall of Fame — Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Nomar Garciaparra — discussed a variety of topics with the media in the EMC Club.

While the hour-long press event mostly revolved around prior experiences and memories, Martinez took the time to discuss the present, focusing  mostly on the departure of Red Sox ace Jon Lester, who was traded to the Athletics at the July 31 trade deadline.

“€œI hope he comes back, because he’€™s a perfect guy to actually have in the clubhouse, influence kids and I think [Lester] is a guy that I’€™m against seeing him leave,”€ Martinez said. “Openly, I’€™m going to say that I’€™m not happy that Lester is not here anymore. I would like him to come back and we had that talk in the outfield and during bullpen sessions, during games. I hate to see that Lester is gone because he’€™s a workhorse, he’€™s a good example in the clubhouse, he’€™s a role model in society … He’€™s everything you need for a young group of guys that are developing.”

Clemens, as he did earlier during his interview with Middays with MFB, remained mostly mum on his opinions regarding whether or not he will eventually get enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but added that his preference, if he does get elected, would be for his plaque to feature him donning a Red Sox cap.

“€œI don’€™t think you have any control over that, I made light of it and said I was going to wear a [University of Texas] Longhorn visor,” Clemens joked, adding: “€œI don’€™t think you have any control over that. … Obviously, [the preference] would be Boston, because I spent most of my time here.”

Martinez also commented on the debate regarding Clemens’€™ chances of one day getting the call to Cooperstown, stating that  players such as Clemens and Barry Bonds should be voted into the Hall due to the fact that they compiled enough accolades before PED accusations began to sprout up.

“I think Roger, with all due respect to everybody that votes, I’€™ll have to say Roger and Barry Bonds are two guys that I think had enough numbers before anything came out to actually earn a spot in the Hall of Fame,” Martinez said. “I’€™m not quite sure, 100 percent, how close they will be before all the things came out, but in my heart, if you ask me before any of that, I would say yes -€“ 100 percent -€“ without looking back. … I believe they have a legit chance and I think, with time, the voters will take into consideration what they did previously.”

Following are more highlights from the media session:

Clemens on whether he identifies himself as a Red Sox above all of the other teams he played for: “Sure. I spent 13 years here and I worked hard. Like I said, this is where I got my start, I got my nickname here and the kids today still call me ‘€˜Rocket’€™ more than they do ‘€˜Roger,’€™ so it’€™s pretty cool. At home, I probably have more Red Sox stuff that I do any other club that I played for.”

Garciaparra on the 2004 season: “€œObviously, it was devastating being traded, no question about that. But I was happy for them winning the World Series. For me, that my teammates made feel like a part of it, which was great. I was grateful. When they were going through the playoffs, I was getting calls from them when they were on the bus, like, ‘€˜Hey, did you see that? Did you see what we’€™re doing?’€™ … They were saying, ‘€˜We’€™re thinking about you,’€™ and I was like, ‘€˜I’€™m watching.’€™

“I never watched the World Series when I played. I didn’€™t want to watch where people were that I wanted to be. I’€™ve only really watched two World Series when I played. One was the Yankees and Mets when they were in the World Series, only because Jay Payton was my roommate in college and one of my dearest friends was playing in the World Series. … And then in ‘€™04, because I knew they were going to do it. … I realize here that the World Series is bigger than you. It’€™s about these people and these fans and the tradition here and what it meant. I’€™m glad, in ‘€™04, that it was finally accomplished, because these great fans deserved it.”

Martinez on the atmosphere at Fenway Park: “I’€™ll tell you what, the aspects of Fenway Park and the tradition, the uniqueness that we have here in Fenway, I can’€™t see it happening in any other place. … You can feel the heat from the bodies from the field. It’€™s so close. … This is the closest to a winter league game that you can probably feel. I always describe Fenway as the only place where you can feel like you’€™re pitching winter ball, because it’€™s loud, you have people right on top of you. … It’€™s a unique feeling that you get at Fenway.”

Garciaparra on Martinez’€™s tenure in Boston: “œWatching him, there were times where I found myself like the fans, in awe of what he’€™s doing. So much so that when they finally hit the ball off him, I would be like the fans and go, ‘€˜Ugh.’€™ I would do so the same thing and then I’€™d realize, ‘€˜Oh, they hit it at me and I need to got to go make the play.’€™ … There were so many moments that made you feel that way and I’€™m grateful that I’€™m his teammate and friend.”

Read More: hall of fame, Nomar, pedro martinez, Red Sox
Pedro Martinez on MFB: ‘Red Sox are under no pressure’ because of last year’s title 08.04.14 at 12:07 pm ET
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Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez checked in with Middays with MFB on Monday from the Red Sox Foundation charity golf tournament in Belmont. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Martinez, whose departure after the 2004 season has been compared to Jon Lester‘s situation, weighed in on the Red Sox’ trade of Lester to the Athletics.

“I wasn’t really surprised,” Martinez said. “After seeing that nothing worked out in spring training, and a little bit of disappointment on both sides, specially on Lester’s side, I could sense that something was going to happen. But at the same time, I was extremely sad and worried about him leaving because, to be honest, I don’t think he’s replaceable right now by any means.”

The Red Sox have made it clear they would prefer to avoid handing out long-term contracts to players in their 30s, but Martinez said the team will miss Lester’s leadership.

“Well, the first thing that we all have to realize is that the Red Sox are under no pressure. We won last year when nobody expected that we were going to win. Whatever we decided to do this year, we have plenty of time to put together a plan to build another team that can be in the winning column within the next three years. They have the luxury to do that because winning last year unexpectedly I think gave everybody space to breathe,” Martinez said.

“Now, I think for the good of the young arms that we have in the minor leagues, I think they needed someone to guide them. I didn’t see it so well that Lester would leave, because that’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse, a role model, worker. When you go into the clubhouse and you see Lester, the ace of the team, working, you have no choice but to go to work. When you see his mental approach about the game, the respect for the game and his respect for his teammates, I think it’s someone so valuable in so many different ways, it doesn’t have to really be performing. But it’s the influence that he brings over to the young arms that are coming up and probably hoping to develop into an ace later on.”

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Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, pedro martinez,
Pedro Martinez on MFB: Red Sox ‘obviously overachieved and we surprised everybody’ last year 06.26.14 at 1:47 pm ET
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Former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez  joined Middays with MFB Thursday morning to discuss Clay Buchholz‘€™s return, the pressure placed upon the Red Sox pitching staff this season and the promising pitching prospects in Boston’€™s farm system. To listen to the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have received solid contributions from their pitching staff this season (3.78 team ERA), but the Boston offense has left much to be desired, placing 25th in baseball in runs scored. While the lack of scoring has put a considerable amount of pressure on Boston’€™s pitchers this season, Martinez said that he enjoyed getting the opportunity to pick up his club during his playing days with the Red Sox.

“That’€™s exactly your responsibility sometimes — to pick up your teammates,” Martinez said. “I was always looking for those moments where my team was desperate — doing whatever they could to score runs and they couldn’t — I took it personal and I wanted to go out there and post a shutout or limit the other team as much as I could in order to get those guys to bounce back or rest a little bit and in that way, everything will fall into place later.

“This is a reflection of what we went through last year. We obviously overachieved and we surprised everybody. … Now what happens is, the extra push that we had to actually achieve all those things, I think is reflecting on those guys. They’€™re a little tired. If you play in the big leagues, if you play ball, you can tell that the team is tired. … Some of the pitchers did not have enough time to recoup from the long season last year during the playoffs.”

Buchholz made his first start since May 26 Wednesday against the Mariners and looked far different from the player who posted a 7.02 ERA through his first 10 starts of the season. Buchholz earned the win against Seattle, allowing four earned runs while surrendering zero walks in 7 1/3 innings. Martinez said that Buchholz’s extended time off should be beneficial for the righty.

“€œBuchholz is the type of pitcher that will throw strikes when his mind is 100 percent there. I think the rest really helped him,”€ Martinez said. “Having a little time to regroup and actually refresh his mind, I think helped him out. … Even though he was pitching, his velocity was declining. His movement on the fastball was different. Everything was different. So I think this little time off helped him out. I just hope he continues to go the same way he went last night or maybe improve a little bit more as he goes.”

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