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Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Pedro Martinez

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Pedro the Expopedro-martinezpg2_g_pmartinez2_200pedro-martinez-neal-portnoy

He is a lot shorter than Randy Johnson and still threw just as hard in his prime. he is listed as 5-11 but it’s been said he is shorter than listed.

Pedro Martinez was one of the stars of the Boston RedSox that broke the curse of Boston not having won a world series in 86  years, but in 2004 the Red Sox defeated the Stlouis Cardinals to win it all.

During his career Martinez established himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, leading the league in ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate in the same season five times. He dominated while pitching most of the time in a hitter’s friendly environment and facing some of the toughest competition in the middle of the so-called steroid-era, which is generally thought to have favored batters.

Martínez’s pitching style was atypical as he commanded an arsenal of “out” pitches. His fastball, cutter, curveball and circle changeup were all well above average; combined with his historically excellent control, they proved to be an overpowering package. Martínez threw from a low three-quarters position (nearly sidearm) that hid the ball very well from batters, who have remarked on the difficulty of picking up Martínez’s delivery.

Early in his career, Martínez’s fastball was consistently clocked in the 95–97 mph range. Using it in combination with his devastating changeup and occasionally mixing in his curveball, he was as dominant a pitcher as the game has ever seen. Sports Illustrated ’​s Joe Posnanski wrote, “There has never been a pitcher in baseball history—not Walter Johnson, not Lefty Grove, not Sandy Koufax, not Tom Seaver, not Roger Clemens—who was more overwhelming than the young Pedro.”

As injuries and the aging process took their toll, Martínez made the adjustment to rely more on finesse than power. His fastball settled into the 85–88 mph range, although he was able to occasionally reach 90–91 mph when the need arose. Martínez continued to use a curveball, a circle changeup, and an occasional slider. With his command of the strike zone, he remained an effective strikeout pitcher despite the drop in velocity. Baseball historian Bill James described Martínez as being substantially more effective than his pitching peers due to his variety of pitches, pitch speeds, pinpoint control, and numerous modes of deception.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes …Pedro Martinez…Soon to be Hall of Famer.

MLB debut
September 24, 1992 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2009 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Win–loss record 219–100
Earned run average 2.93
Strikeouts 3,154
Teams
Career highlights and awards


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