So now what?

Game 2 features the return of an old friend in Pedro Martinez. Talk about storylines, eh? From his days with the RedSox, to his rapid decline on the Mets, to the mango tree, to his resurrection on the Phillies… it’s quite a story. And I can’t wait.

As Will noted in our Starters Preview:

Pedro Martinez had an alarmingly high LD% in his limited time this season, without an accompanying disastrous BABIP. He also had a tremendous LOB%. He’s probably not done as a pitcher yet, as evidenced by his K/BB, but he shouldn’t be in the rotation in the World Series. He’s not good enough. Luckily for the Yankees, it appears Charlie Manuel has been fooled by his recent performances, and will run him out against the Yankees, who are probably drooling at the prospect. Joe Blanton doesn’t like particularly good in this comparison either, with his AL-sized ERA in spite of a 79% LOB rate.

Will relies on data to drive to a conclusion. Can’t say I disagree, conceptually, but there’s a part of me that remembers how Pedro seems to find a new gear in the post-season… I’ll remain confident but wary.

So let’s dive into those pesky stats on Pedro

First, his career against the Yanks, knowing that this includes his dominant years in Boston and is probably not as relevant as the newer stats):

  • 32 games
  • 11-11 record
  • 3.20 ERA
  • .211 batting average against
  • 17 HBP, his highest against any opponent. [And Moose never retaliated once]

For his career, AT Yankee Stadium:

  • 16 games
  • 8-4 record
  • 2.95 ERA
  • .205 BAA

We can divine this: Pedro’s been pretty darn good against the Yanks over the course of his entire career. So what’s with the whole “Who’s Your Daddy?” business? Glad you asked:

It will go down in Yankees-Red Sox lore as the Daddy Speech, in honor of this highlight in Martinez’s interview session after a 6-4 loss to New York on Friday: “What can I say? I tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy.

Let’s peek at his post-season exploits against the Yanks:

  1. ALCS Game 3, 1999 (Fenway):
    • 7 IP
    • 12 K’s
    • 2 hits, 2 walks
    • 0.00 ERA
    • Game score* of 83!
    • Win 2-0
  2. ALCS Game 3, 2003 (Fenway):
    • 7 IP
    • 6 K’s
    • 6 hits, 1 walk
    • 4.29 ERA
    • Game score* of 54
    • Loss 4-3
  3. ALCS Game 7, 2003 (@NYY):
    • 7.1 IP
    • 8 K’s
    • 10 hits, 1 walk
    • 4.76 ERA
    • Game score* of 45
    • Loss 6-5 (The Aaron Bleepin’ Boone game, remember?)
  4. ALCS Game 2, 2004 (@NYY):
    • 6 IP
    • 7 K’s
    • 4 hits, 4 walks
    • 4.15 ERA
    • Game score* of 55
    • Loss 3-1
  5. ALCS Game 5, 2004 (Fenway):
    • 6 IP
    • 6 K’s
    • 7 hits, 5 walks
    • 4.74 ERA
    • Game score* of 43
    • Win 5-4
  6. ALCS Game 7, 2004 (@NYY):
    • 1 IP (relief)
    • We all know how this one ends, don’t we? Looking at you, Javy Vazquez.

Pedro was superb –vintage Pedro– against the Dodgers in this post-season, despite his team’s end result:

  • 7 IP
  • 3 K’s
  • 2 hits, 0 walks
  • Game score* of 76
  • Loss 2-1

* Game score is calculated: Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.

I challenge anyone to tell me with 100% certainty which Pedro the Yanks will see tonite? The “Who’s Your Daddy?” version, the one in which the Yanks were confident against, or the vintage Pedro who was stellar against the Dodgers.

Who’s it gonna be? Have at it. I gave you some of the background facts. What’s YOUR conclusion? Predictions?

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.