Analysis

All Eyes on Pedro Tonight

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez reacts to a video while working out prior to a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Between 1998 and 2004, Pedro Martinez was arguably the finest pitcher in baseball. He won a total of 117 games during that period with the Boston Red Sox, while losing just 37. With three Cy Young Awards in four seasons, it was clear the guy became a legendary figure.

That is not the Pedro of today. After a tumultuous ride through Flushing, the Mets cut ties with him after he started just 25 games in two seasons. Injuries plagued him for much of his time in New York, a common theme for power pitchers with a workhorse-like mentality.

That is not the Pedro of today, either.

He will not shut teams down, he will not throw 97 and paint the corners, and he will not stay on the mound into the late innings. It’s just not who Pedro is at this point, but that’s fine. All the Phillies can hope for is a small upgrade over Jamie Moyer. Whether or not that comes to fruition will be answered in the coming days and weeks, but for now, the prospects are somewhat intriguing.

It would be foolish to think Pedro can return to form as the front-line weapon of yesteryear. Really, there is no way to predict what we will see from Martinez, as the last time he pitched, an injured hamstring cost him the rest of 2008, and his spot in the Mets rotation. Here’s what to watch for as Martinez faces off against the Chicago Cubs for his first start with the Phillies:

-What does his velocity say? If Pedro is hitting 90 mph with consistency, then success could follow. It means his arm strength really is there, and was not just a product of an amped-up radar gun. Forget about the first inning, too. His emotions should allow him to register 90-plus with ease. But once he gets a few innings under his belt, keep a look out to see what that number says. If it sinks into the mid-80’s, trouble will be lurking.

-Tying into that, how much will he throw his breaking pitches. Martinez thrived on his cannon for years, but that is absolutely no longer the case. His control is vital to his success, so if he is missing with the fastball, look for a ton of breaking pitches.

-This season has not been kind to aging arms that have attempted a comeback. John Smoltz, who joined the Boston Red Sox in the offseason, was recently let go by the team following several poor performances. Jason Schmidt, one of the premier power pitchers in the game a few years back, may have to call it a career as injuries have taken their toll. Others like Jamie Moyer and Randy Johnson have not had much success in 2009 either. Will Pedro fall into that grouping, or can he prove that there is something left in the tank?

-What will make this tour with the Phillies a success? Does Pedro need to wow us like old times, or can he simply be slightly better than Moyer? Tempering expectations is a must. If he wins half of his starts and keeps his ERA in the high-four’s, then consider this a win for the Phillies. However, if he flames out, and is unable to contribute down the stretch, the Phils will have taken a chance, nothing more.

Who is the Pedro of today? Find out tonight in Chicago.

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0 Comments

  1. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    SpankyYankee= Rainbow Pictures Present: “The Creepy Return of Pee Wee Herman” Starring A-rod as Pee Wee Herman. With a guest app from Boy George. Don’t spank with the hand that you wipe your @ss with. Coming this October to a “special” movie screen near you. P.S. I hope the Spankees play the Phillies in the W.S. Phillies Nation will take over YS II. And when the series shifts to Philly we’ll just set Arod up with another tranny prostitute. He won’t be able to focus on baseball after that. Arod’s “bridle routine” when he hit that walk-off a few weeks ago was very much on the “sugar” side.

  2. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Why Jamie has a legitimate grip: Again 6-2 w/3.88 on road. That’s pretty damn impressive. Jamie pitched pretty well against Marlins on Sunday. He was blopped to death. Obviously the final score more than hides that. Pedro move scares me a little because the Phillies have had one of the better Club Houses in baseball in recent years. A defending World Champ with almost the same roster shouldn’t be playing this inconsistent in mid-August. Lidge? What a bleeping buzz kill. I mean really. Madson, Chan Ho and Chan Ho’s “gangsta” beard did all the hard work. Lidge had the bottom of the order up. Lidge was afraid to pitch to Fu… and The Riot? Come on. And he almost air mailed the throw to first on the bunt. Phils won because because of J-Roll and the pen -Lidge. Some one mentioned Park should close. Sounds good to me. Lidge what are you afraid off? I thought the boogie man for you was the post season. I guess not. Is Chicken Little really your daddy?

  3. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I thought the Phillies should’ve brought Pedro up and used him in mop up duty a few times first before making the move. he’s been out too long. Jamie’s struggling big time. But why didn’t RA bring up Pedro in Mop up duty, just to test him out a little. If Pedro bombs and I certainly hope he doesn’t. What’s next? Back to Jamie back to Pedro again….. RA has done very well so far. But this is the one clitch.

  4. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Hello, I am the rhyming Met fan. I am going to say rhymes about the Mets and the Mets history. Please enjoy I worked very hard hard on these.

  5. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Today’s rhymes will be a mets Alphabet enjoy. A is for Amazins who made many gaffes but were also good for a whole lot of laughs.

  6. Bruce

    August 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Pat says~ ..”If he [Martinez] wins half of his starts and keeps his ERA in the high-four’s, then consider this a win for the Phillies.

    Huh? You consider that an upgrade over Moyer? Since May 20th, Moyer’s ERA is 4.40. 😉

  7. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    B is for Beltran Who patrols the big green. At the plate he is strong ; In the field he is keen.

  8. Hugh

    August 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, this will be good.

  9. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    C is for Carter, The last piece in the scheme that brought home the title and fufilled the dream.

  10. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    D is for Darryl Who can hit the long ball, but his skills couldn,t save him from a very hard fall.

  11. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    E is for Elster A boon to the club. He went 88 games with nary a flub.

  12. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    F is for Fernandez , The Portly El Sid. Fans still remark about the things that he did.

  13. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    G is for Gooden The swift Dr.K. He’d set up a batter Then blow him away.

  14. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    H is for Hernandez For batters a pit. Everything Keith’s way wound up in his mitt.

  15. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I is for innings the standard us nine. but if the game is tied then more are just fine.

  16. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I have to stop here too much rhyming for one day!

  17. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’m still here write to me if you wish. I’m just sitting here eating a kinish.

  18. Mazinman

    August 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I feel bad for Moyer and I think that his reaction is certainly understandable. No one would be happy to lose their spot especially when he still leads the teams in wins and you have Hamels having just as many issues right now. However if the choices were between him and Happ then sending him to the bullpen was definately the right choice. I think his reaction is understandable and he will have a chance to win his job back in the near future if he calms down.

    Anyway, I will be rooting for Pedro to come up big for the Phils just as I would any guy who is going out there to pitch for them. We really need to get our lead back to over 5 games so I can relax again.

  19. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Oh look at that I rhymed again. I think I’m a poet but I just don’t know it!

  20. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    At this point in his career he is not very good. I guess at this point all you can do is knock on wood.

  21. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    J is for John, the great state of Maine. He would be pretty good if his shoulder wasn’t in so much pain.

  22. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    rhyming Met fan? There’s a reliever on the Red Sox that is a rapper. Why don’t you go give him a call? And stay off the drugs!

  23. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I have to leave now.,going to the store to buy some oil. As mother always told me never buy meat from the moil.

  24. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I would give him a call ,but I’m having a ball!

  25. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I could have done that rhyme better. Oh well I ‘ll try harder next time when I write you a letter.

  26. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t know what else to say other than I’m on fire today!

  27. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Repeat, what is that relievers name? If you don’t know it why do you give him fame?

  28. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    BREAKING NEWS!!! Last nite after the game Moyer, Pedro and the other starters went out for a few drinks to try to ease the stress. But after a few rounds things between Pedro and Moyer got heated. Take a look.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKT3-FdOLYM

  29. Chuck

    August 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    That’s pretty funny, Repeat!

  30. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Thank ya. Thank ya very much…. I have to go back to work now. Can’t wait for tonite and it will be nationally televised!

  31. ronnie

    August 12, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    The Mets clubs as a whole are a disgrace to baseball. From the ahole wilpons, how is the money doing. LOL. YOU LOSE IT ALL BABY. from baby i dont play ball reyes. krod before the seaon. we are the team to beat. sure you are. you scary closer you. lol. go pedro. thank god moyer is out. cut him like a piece of meat.

  32. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    You don’t understand that the Mets have injuries. thats why they are losing.

  33. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Also if we didn’t have injuries and say we were 3 games behind we would have Victor Martinez. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  34. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I’m anxious to see what happens tonight during the gameday thread if Pedro struggles….will the Jamie haters come out and protect Pedro?

  35. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Wait why exactly would you have Victor Martinez if you didn’t have injuries? I’m confused….did the Mets announce things they would have done if the team hadn’t been awful this year? Also, did whoever was announcing these things make it through the press conference without ripping off their shirt or ripping on reporters?

  36. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    J is for Jamie His last name is moyer I enjoy watching him in my foyer.

  37. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    The Indians offered the Mets Jenry Mejja and Brad Holt for Victor Martinez the Mets turned it down becacuse they were out of the race.

  38. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    A is for Cora what a great find. When he gets in trouble he uses his mind.

  39. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I meant c is cora sorry

  40. R.C. Cowie

    August 12, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I can’t wait until I get home so I can add a person who has an insatiable desire to rhyme to the Comment Blacklist.

  41. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    T is for Tom terrific, His pitches were fine. He brought the Mets a title in 1969.

  42. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    What is a comment black list.

  43. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    What is a comment black list?

  44. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    It sounds racist.l You should call it something else because it is offensive to me becuase I am black.

  45. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I’m not coming here anymore because this is racist. This is becase I’m black I go on the black list how dare you it is so racist. I’m leaving.

  46. mikemike

    August 12, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Do you think its true the phillies want to sign smoltz to help in the bullpen?

  47. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    S is for the shut the hell up, and WFC is for the World F**kin Champs, who’s blogsite you are currently on. So again, please go the hell away.

  48. The rhyming Met fan

    August 12, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    ah ha. you thought I left another racist comment you just say hateful things to me because I’m black. and you put me on a black list too.

  49. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t know Mikemike but I would doubt it at this point, unless they believe JC or Brett won’t back.

    On a similar note though, did anyone see that the Brewers just sent Hardy to the minors and DFAd Billy Hall? Hall is only hitting .200 so I’m not real high on him but I wonder if there is any way the Brew Crew would part with Hardy for cheap. The guy is only hitting .226 with 11 bombs but again look what we are comparing him to on the Phils bench (short, offensively putrid man with incredible facial hair).

  50. Dhall

    August 12, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Hey rhyming Met fan, we’re glad you are leaving
    We at Phillies Nation, will not be grieving

  51. The Original Chuck P

    August 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Repeat!… your footage is bogus. Here’s the clip from the real fight.

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1596751

  52. The Original Chuck P

    August 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Hardy has been dreadful…

  53. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Are u serious or is this a prank? If you are in anyway serious please just stop it dude. I now I’ve gone off from to time. I’ll admitt when I’m wrong though or at least let it go. You’re crazy. Just go the f__k back to the Mets board. You can write a whole Album over there. You’ll be the first fan to post on a Mets board since the 4th of July. You don’t know what a blacklist is? Come on. This has to be a prank.

  54. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    But again Chuck P, he would be on our bench and his average is still over 100 points higher than Bruntlett’s.

  55. joedad

    August 12, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    When did the Phillies get Pedro Martinez and why wasn’t I informed?

  56. The Original Chuck P

    August 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Is Bruntlett really batting less than .126?

  57. Ed R.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    anyone going to be watching the USA and Mexico soccer game? Does anyone else actually care about soccer?

  58. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    The original Chuck P….. A sneak preview for Rocky VII. Thanks! When is the release date? That was too funny.

  59. Repeat!

    August 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I played soccer in high school. I watch my share of soccer. Mex vs Us isn’t too shabby. They’ve got a nice little rivalry going.

  60. Manny

    August 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    He’s batting .131! Close enough!!!

  61. Matthew

    August 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Why is everyone continuing to ignore the fact that KENNY POWERS is still a free agent!?

  62. psujoe

    August 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    If Jamey Carroll clears waivers he’s the bruntlett replacement we should be going after.

    Carrasco threw a Gem last night 8 inn, 4 hits, 1 ER 10 K’s.

  63. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Ah you are right Manny. My apologies to Bruntlett…I forgot about his monthly knock that he got off of Zito the other weekend.

  64. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Carroll is an intriguing option only because it seems like the Phils would have tried to get him packaged into a Lee trade if they really wanted him. Personally I would have taken him over Frisco, but obviously I’m not complaining after last night’s ding dong.

  65. JoeFan

    August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Does anyone see a potential problem tonight with relief pitchers? I’m guessing Jamie will not be available until tomorrow after pitching on Sunday. And the Phils will have to waive someone to add Pedro today I believe. With all of the pitchers who went last night and the potential for a short night from Pedro tonight the pen could get worn down. Lidge’s blow save really hurt last night!

  66. psujoe

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Miles, I thought about that, but Francisco has limited years of service and is a nice cheap 4th OF for the next several years until Taylor and/or Brown come up. Carroll’s contract expires after the season so he’s a short term solution.

  67. Joe

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    If the world series is a big game. Then why do they have one the next year?

  68. Patty Mayo

    August 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    i dont kno why anyone would be against sending moyer to the bullpen and giving pedro a shot. Obviously hes not the same pedro the the potential to do really good things is still very much there. Moyer has been on a downfall anyway. I was at the game of his last start and it was discusting. He just doent stand a shot anymore unless he get some really serious run support. And pedros persona and new pitching style is perfect becuase hitters are going to have to adjust to the new him lets all just be excited and hope that he can fill the shoes that his potential can fill up.

  69. The Original Chuck P

    August 12, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    .131… That’s really bad.

    I can’t even spin that in a positive manner.

    Can’t wait to see Pedro pitch tonight. It should be a memorable night for sure!

  70. The Original Chuck P

    August 12, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I was against it Patty… I don’t understand why a manager would want to mess with chemistry. We’re in first place and pitching hasn’t been the issue… our bats are asleep and our bullpen is battered and inconsistent. I will cheer for Pedro and go along with the decision but it’s not the one that I would have made…

  71. Manny

    August 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Even though I was one of many fans who originally opposed the Pedro deal, I can’t help but getting excited about this game tonight!

  72. Miles

    August 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    @Patty….I’m not really against throwing Pedro out there, I just have a hard time believing he will be a step up over Moyer. I would love for him to prove me wrong, though. It’s an absolute fact that most Phillies fans undervalue Moyer at this point because he’s old and gets knocked around every once in a while. I don’t know how his last outing could be viewed as disgusting (5 innings, 2 ER and no extra base hits) when Cole had just laid a monster turd the night before. He and Jamie have both been problematic. Anyway as much as I care about everyone’s personal feelings and all of that, oh wait I don’t care, I just want to see us win games. Soooo let’s pray that Pedro pitches well and that we actually get some friggin hits.

  73. Keith E

    August 12, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    This is a sideways move at best. This guy will be no more or no less than Moyer. A .500 record from him the rest of the way and it’s a good thing? Moyer would have given us that and maybe just a bit more. Business is business but this move is a PR nightmare. Moyer deserved better! A little run support wouldn’t have hurt. I say this:
    OFFENSE, WAKE THE **** UP!!!!!
    GO PHILLIES!!!

  74. winks tiddley

    August 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    The best we can expect from Pedro is two months of decent starts that last five or six innings….and ERA of about 4.50 will make management and fans happy. It is very questionable if he can do this, but it is better than Moyer could do. A slight upgrade and a right hander is what we need. Remember: Moyer has the highest ERA of all starters in the NL and is making a cool $7 million. He should keep his mouth shut and thank God he isn’t a typical working man.

  75. Steve

    August 12, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Matthew as some said over at the Fightins blog, Pedro is the dominican Kenny Powers

  76. Jaggers

    August 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I think the Pedro experiment makes sense when you view it as a move for the postseason. We all know what we have in Moyer – a strong regular-season 4th/5th spot pitcher that will likely not win us too many postseason games – much like last year. In Pedro, we have a bit more of an unknown commodity. He has at least the potential to be a starting postseason pitcher and just as importantly he gives us the potential for a 2nd right-handed starter for the post-season. At the moment, going to Pedro seems at best a lateral move, but if Pedro pans out, it could add an important weapon for our playoff arsenal.

    On a side note, is there any possibility of Myers coming back for the postseason? The lack of right-handed arms on the starting staff should certainly be a concern for an extended playoff series against the same team.

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