Pedro's dream season with Phillies falls short

Pedro Martinez walks on mound after Hideki Matsui's 2-run homer in second inning.
Pedro Martinez walks on mound after Hideki Matsui's 2-run homer in second inning.
Posted: November 05, 2009

NEW YORK - It was early in the summer and Pedro Martinez was home in the Dominican Republic.

For the first time since he was a kid, it was baseball season, and Martinez was not surrounded by a group of teammates or being cheered/jeered by a stadium full of fans.

It was a little lonely, but Martinez wasn't coming back to the majors unless the situation (i.e., money) was right and there was an opportunity to win.

He got both when he signed with the Phillies in July: a prorated $2 million deal and a team that was defending its championship.

Martinez helped the Phillies get to the postseason, but last night, his 38-year-old right arm managed only four innings as the Phillies' season came to a crashing end in the sixth game of the World Series.

Martinez gave up four runs, all four knocked in by Yankees designated hitter Hideki Matsui, and was saddled with the loss in the 7-3 defeat.

Martinez went 5-1 in nine starts down the stretch and was real good in his first two postseason starts.

Last night, though, he couldn't find a rhythm and he couldn't get past Matsui.

"The thing I saw with Pedro is he did not have a good fastball," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said. "His fastball wasn't as good as it has been the last two times out."

Martinez spoke only briefly to the media before quickly departing Yankee Stadium.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner, who also won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004, turned 38 in October and is a free agent. Will 2010 be another quiet early summer? The Yankees sure did their part, again, to make sure it is. Who's your daddy, indeed.

"He was still getting the ball up there at 90 miles per hour," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "But sometimes you have to give our lineup credit, too."

Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said the inability for Martinez to get into a regular schedule for an extended time during the season complicated things in the playoffs. The righthander missed a start in late September because of stiffness in his neck.

"Pedro had some down time, and all of a sudden when he has to go back to 5 days on, 5 days off, he just probably wasn't used to that regular routine," Dubee said. "But health-wise, Pedro can pitch. Arm-wise, Pedro can pitch. And savvy-wise, Pedro can pitch." *

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