Results tagged ‘ Pedro Martinez ’
It’s the Yankees vs. Pedro Martinez in Game 2.
Who’s your daddy? We’ll find out.
Here is what the Yankees had to say about Martinez facing his nemesis:
“Five years ago, Pedro and I accomplished something awesome. We get to face each other in the World Series. Only one of us is going to be the winner, and hopefully it’s me. I’m sure it’s going to be crazy, but our fans are going to be behind our team so they’d like to rattle Pedro. But I think Pedro has said it time and time before that a kid coming from where he grew up in the Dominican Republic, he’s able to have the world focus on him. He’s definitely come a long way since he started playing baseball.”
Does he think Pedro will thrive in this situation? “Let’s hope not. Pedro knows how to handle himself. Pedro was the best pitcher in this league for many years. He knows what it takes to be in the spotlight. He’s thrived in the spotlight before. Our job is to try to beat him. The way he pitched against the Dodgers, he looked pretty special. That’s not what we want to say.”
Does he think the ‘Who’s your daddy?’ chants bothered him? “I don’t think so. I think Pedro knows how to be dominating out there. He knows how to rise to the occasion. He feeds off of it.”
“Hopefully, we get to him like we did with the Red Sox.”
“Is he pitching Game 2? He’s always enjoyed playing here and pitching here. He’s had success here, too. I’m sure he’s looking forward to it. He’s always been a challenge for us, whether it was Boston or the Mets. He enjoys being in the spotlight and pitching in these games and he’s always been tough and I’m sure he’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”
What comes to mind when thinking about facing Pedro? (Laughs) “A lot of things come to mind. Some things I can’t say. He’s a competitor. He’s a guy when we were facing Boston all those years, he’s a guy that you looked forward to facing. You didn’t want to do it, but you looked forward to facing him because he was a challenge. Pedro is going to go down as one of the best pitchers to ever play this game. What he did, especially for the Red Sox all those years, we had a lot of battles with him. You always look forward to that challenge, even though it’s a tough challenge.”
He made it official this morning.
He announced during his weekly appearance on The Michael Smerconish Show on WPHT (1210-AM) that Martinez would pitch Game 2 and Cole Hamels would pitch Game 3.
“When I look at Pedro, Pedro has been in the big environment,” Manuel said yesterday. “He’s pitched about everywhere you can pitch. I don’t think nothing is going to really bother him or get him upset. I think we can pitch him in either ballpark, really. I don’t think it matters at all.
“Pedro has been in the big environment. He’s pitched about everywhere you can pitch. I don’t think nothing is going to really bother him or get him upset. I think we can pitch him in either ballpark, really. I don’t think it matters at all.”
Martinez is 11-11 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 career starts against the Yankees in the regular season, and is 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 16 career starts at Yankee Stadium. He is 1-2 with a 4.72 ERA in six postseason appearances against the Yankees, and is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five.
So here is how the Phillies’ rotation looks through Saturday:
- Game 1: Cliff Lee
- Game 2: Martinez
- Game 3: Hamels
The Phillies could start Joe Blanton or J.A. Happ in Game 4 on Sunday, or they could bring back Lee on short rest in Game 4. The Phillies and Lee said it is possible they bring back Lee on short rest to face CC Sabathia in Games 1, 4 and 7, although I think if the Phillies are in good shape they bring back Lee on regular rest and have him pitch Game 5 on Monday.
Here are a few things from today’s workout at the Bank:
- Charlie Manuel expects to see CC Sabathia three times if the World Series goes seven games.
- Raul Ibanez is going to DH Game 1, which would allow Ben Francisco to play left field. Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs could DH Game 2 against A.J. Burnett.
- Robin Roberts spoke about the 1950 World Series. He said back then he hated four things: Notre Dame, Michigan, the Yankees and Russia. That might be one of my top five answers to a question all year.
- Manuel would not say who will pitch Game 2, but he sounds more and more like it’s going to be Pedro Martinez. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. He is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. But Martinez has experience. He won’t be intimidated. “We weigh all that,” Manuel said. “We try to weigh everything possible. I guess that’s the good part about my job. I’ve got quite a few people around and we discuss everything about the game. We discuss everything that you’re supposed to cover. There’s not a whole lot that we’re going to miss as far as what we want to do. But when I look at Pedro, Pedro has been in the big environment. He’s pitched about everywhere you can pitch. I don’t think nothing is going to really bother him or get him upset. I think we can pitch him in either ballpark, really. I don’t think it matters at all.”
I like it.
It’s Phillies vs. Yankees, and I couldn’t think of a better match up. If the Phillies want to build a legacy or a dynasty or whatever you want to call it, this is the team you want to beat. You want to beat the Yankees because they are the best baseball has to offer.
These teams have met just once before in the postseason: the 1950 World Series. The Yankees swept the Phillies in four games, but I don’t expect that to happen this time. I think the Phillies’ offense is too good not to put some runs on the board.
The above photo is Yogi Berra tagging out Granny Hamner at the plate in Game 4.
Charlie Manuel would not answer a question yesterday afternoon about Cole Hamels possibly starting Game 2. Manuel could have tipped his hand there. He could be leaning toward starting Pedro Martinez in Game 2. I thought Martinez might set up better to start Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park, but we know Martinez won’t be intimidated at Yankee Stadium. It will be interesting to see which way the Phillies go. We know it’s Cliff Lee in Game 1. We also know it’ll probably be Hamels or Martinez in Game 2 with the other likely pitching Game 3.
The Game 3 starter would line up to pitch Game 7, if necessary and if the Phillies don’t bring back Lee on short rest.
I’m picking the Phillies in six.
Charlie Manuel said earlier today he would discuss that with Rich Dubee, Ruben Amaro Jr. and others this weekend. I would not expect the Phillies to make an official announcement anytime soon, but it’s obvious that Cliff Lee will start Game 1. I would start Cole Hamels in Game 2, despite his recent struggles. As much as he has struggled — he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts this postseason — he still has one of the two best arms in the rotation. He was one botched double play from allowing one run through five innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. He allowed three solo homers in Game 5, but he wasn’t getting knocked around the ballpark (i.e. walking people and giving up four or five hits an inning). I still take my chances with him on the road.
I know everybody would like to see Pedro Martinez pitch Game 2 at Yankee Stadium, but I’d rather have him pitch Game 3 at home. Martinez went 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts at home this season. He went 3-1 with a 5.66 ERA in four starts on the road, not including the seven shutout innings he threw in Game 2 of the NLCS. Martinez also is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five postseason appearances against the Yankees. I’d rather have Martinez pitching in front of the home crowd in a place he has been more successful than in a place where he will be hearing “Who’s your daddy?” chants.
Manuel said he more than likely will use right-hander Joe Blanton and left-hander J.A. Happ in the bullpen to start the series, but either of the could start Game 4. The Yankees have an .846 OPS against left-handers and an .837 OPS against right-handers. The Angels have a .793 OPS against right-handers and a .788 OPS against left-handers. Maybe they go with Blanton against the Yankees and Happ against the Angels, although Blanton is 0-3 with an 8.18 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees and is 3-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 15 appearances against the Angels. Happ allowed four hits and two runs in six innings May 23 in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. He has never faced the Angels.
Lee said he would be willing to pitch on short rest, but I only see that happening if the Phillies drop their first two games and they get into desperation mode.
Amaro said there remains a chance somebody like Brett Myers could make the postseason roster. Who would they bump? Left-hander Antonio Bastardo has faced just two batters this postseason. Maybe they go elsewhere.
And who will pitch Game 6 in Los Angeles, if the Phillies need it?
Pedro Martinez said he is ready. He threw a bullpen session this afternoon during a voluntary workout at Citizens Bank Park, which puts him on line to start Game 6. He threw seven scoreless innings in Game 2, but while he threw well he would not mind waiting a little longer to pitch. He would like to see the Phillies wrap up the series tomorrow night to clinch their second consecutive berth in the World Series.
Asked if he thinks the Phillies need to be reminded not to take their foot off the gas, Martinez said, “This team doesn’t need to be told. This team has proven over and over that this team is all about business. If we were a car, right now we probably would be in trouble with the law. This team really speeds up and never lets down. I think we’re more of a NASCAR type of team.
“We feel like we are in the driver’s seat … in a NASCAR driver’s seat. I think we have a very good chance to actually win it tomorrow, and we’re going to try. But that team is good. The other team is good. We have to pay attention to them and just stay focused.”
The Phillies still could pitch left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 6, but could bring him back on extra rest in Game 7.
“We’re all on the bubble,” Martinez said. “I’m ready right now. If you ask me if I could pitch today, yes, I could pitch.”
OK, I’m about to hop on the redeye back to Philly, but a couple thoughts about today’s 2-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 2:
I did not have a problem with Charlie Manuel removing Pedro Martinez after seven innings, although I certainly would not have blinked had Manuel left him in. But had Martinez given up the lead in the eighth, everybody would have asked Manuel why he let Martinez continue to pitch, despite the fact he had reached his pitch count after not pitching in 17 days. They would have asked why Manuel wouldn’t start the inning with Chan Ho Park, who dominated the night before.
No, I think the Phillies lost this game because of three consecutive plays to start the eighth inning. The ball Pedro Feliz didn’t catch to get things started. The bunt that Park couldn’t reach. The double play Chase Utley botched. Manuel defended Feliz for not catching his ball. Feliz wouldn’t say if he should have caught it or not. The bunt was in no man’s land. It was hit perfectly. Utley admitted he made a bad throw. If Feliz or Utley make their plays — not both, just one of them — if the bunt is just a tad in either direction, the Phillies get out of that inning with the game no worse than tied. But the bunt was perfect and Feliz or Utley didn’t make their plays and they lost.
What did Pedro think?
“I felt pretty fresh,” Martinez said. “But at the same time, if you push it what happens the next time? I went 17 days without pitching. I’m not saying I’m going to get hurt, but after 17 days I think it was good enough. And I’m pretty sure everyone is good with the results.”
QUESTION: What would it mean for you to take the mound in this stadium tomorrow night? I don’t want to make you feel old, but it was 17 years ago when you made your debut.
PEDRO MARTINEZ: It’s going to be special, especially bringing back memories about my start here. I was born in this place, and I hope this is not the last one that I pitch here, but if it is, it would be a great joy to actually do it in the same place I started.
QUESTION: Charlie mentioned that you had pulled a muscle in your neck or your shoulder against the Braves last month. Can you expand a little bit about that and how you feel in regards to that injury?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Well, everybody thought it was my neck, but in reality, after seeing a chiropractor it was one of my ribs popped out when I was swinging the bat. He says that it’s something really common; you can actually pop one of your ribs out actually sneezing. But it’s something that never happened to me. It was the first time. Everything on the right side stiffened up, and I wasn’t able to continue. But after adjusting my rib and putting it back in place, I felt fine. I have been able to pitch, even though I haven’t done it much. I was able to bounce back, and everything is back to normal.
QUESTION: What will be your feelings be like tomorrow night when Manny steps into that batter’s box? You guys have had such a great relationship. What will your emotions be like, and are you the one pitcher that probably knows how to pitch him better than anybody else?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Well, nobody can say I know how to pitch Manny. Manny is such a great hitter, and he’s someone that makes adjustments as he sees the game develop. You know, I have a very good relationship with Manny. We are actually like brothers. But we’re both professionals, and we belong to different teams. So we’re going to have to go out there, do the best that we can to help our team win, and actually leave it at that in the field. But once the game is over, I hope he comes over and gives me the same real hug he always gives me and the same jokes.
QUESTION: Charlie said that he thought you looked pretty good in your simulated game, but yesterday I believe you used the word erratic. What did you think was erratic about the couple innings you pitched?
PEDRO MARTINEZ: Normally I have good command of my pitches, and yesterday I didn’t have it, even though yesterday I felt a little bit better about it. Today I’m expecting the same thing and tomorrow even better because I’m going to get more chances to actually sleep and actually do a little bit of flat ground and flip the ball around, and now I know I’m going to go into a game. Actually the adrenaline of the game will probably help me out a little bit to regain command and concentration about the things that I have to do. But it was a tough day Tuesday. I did the two innings. We had just landed from Colorado in Philadelphia. I only got like three hours of sleep, and you’re right back into the field. The cold weather over there in Colorado, we didn’t get to stretch very well. I didn’t get to throw at all. It was really difficult. Everything was working against that day. But here the weather is a lot more comfortable. Everything seems to be more comfortable. So I’m expecting better results.
We know Cole Hamels is starting Game 1 tomorrow night, and we know Cliff Lee is starting Game 3 on Sunday, even though the Phillies have not announced it.
That left Martinez, who a team source said tonight will start Game 2 on Friday.
What is interesting about Martinez is the differences in opinion between Manuel and Rich Dubee and Martinez about his readiness to pitch.
Charlie Manuel said today that Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ will be available in the bullpen in Games 1 and 2. Cole Hamels is starting Game 1 tomorrow night. Cliff Lee likely would start Game 3, which means they need a Game 2 starter. But the fact Manuel said Blanton and Happ could be used in the bullpen in Los Angeles suggests Martinez will pitch Game 2.
“I hope I (pitch),” Martinez said. “I’m open to do whatever. … It would be special to be able to be part of any game. The playoffs are big. For a person like me, I am not going to get too overexcited, but I still have the same respect for the game and I acknowledge the fact that it’s a playoff game and a great opportunity.”
But is Martinez ready? He threw two innings in a simulated game yesterday, but has not pitched since Sept. 30 and has thrown just four innings since Sept. 19. Rich Dubee said Martinez looked “dandy” yesterday. He said between the simulated game and bullpen sessions, Martinez could be sharp enough to get out hitters.
“I think he’s done enough work that I’m very confident sending him out,” Manuel said. “I think he’s capable of throwing anywhere from like 75 to 90 pitches, maybe 95, maybe even 100. But I think that gets you into the sixth inning or seventh, and I think where we’re at with our pitching and everything, I think that would work. … Yeah, I have confidence in him because I know him. I know the experience that he has. I liked his stuff (yesterday). Dubee and I stood there, and we were talking while he was throwing, and his stuff is there.”
But interestingly, while Manuel and Dubee liked what they saw yesterday, Martinez didn’t.
“I threw on the sides and in the bullpen but that’s not enough,” he said. “I threw two innings of BP yesterday, but that’s pretty much it. I’m going to let Dubee and Charlie make the decision. My two innings of BP were a little bit erratic, wild a little bit.”
It’s strange to see Vicente Padilla starting Game 2 of the NLCS for the Dodgers. I never could have imagined. The Phillies basically gave him away to the Rangers because they considered a poor presence in the clubhouse. Pat Gillick called it addition by subtraction. The Rangers then cut him loose for the same reason this summer. And now the Dodgers are having him start Game 2.
“I don’t know what you’re going to get from Padilla,” Jimmy Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. If he’s good, he’s good. If he’s not, he’s way off.”
Padilla can be rattled, too, somebody mentioned.
“Yeah, he definitely can,” Rollins said. “I’ve been behind him. I don’t know what you’re going to get from him. It really depends on how we approach him, if his team scores obviously he becomes more confident. If we get out there early we could probably get in his head and make him throw a lot of pitches.”