Jon Blau, of www.mlb.com, writes about Pedro not sure why his past two starts have been ineffective.
It was not too long ago that Pedro Martinez was promising to make his presence felt in the Mets' clubhouse once he arrived off the disabled list. Less than a couple of weeks ago even, the 36-year-old said he was just a tad off from feeling like he was a "stopper" once more.
But a different Martinez appeared at Shea Stadium for the second game of Friday's Subway Series doubleheader, as he wasn't the mentor who would pick up the Mets' young arms, such as Mike Pelfrey, who did just enough to win in Game 1. Rather, it was quite the other way around, as the veteran Martinez struggled in a rough Game 2 loss.
And as he exited, Martinez -- who has allowed 12 runs in his past 10 innings -- had to question whether this is the worst stretch in his pitching career.
"I'm not doing my job," Martinez said, "and that's something to worry about. ... It's time for me to start getting better and not getting worse."
(I feel bad for Pedro. Everyone wants him to succeed, and be happy-go-lucky Pedro, the team comedian, and unifying team leader.)
Martinez was shook up by the Yankees in 5 2/3 innings on Friday and pelted for six earned runs, as he executed more walks (five) than strikeouts (four). It was the second straight start where Martinez has left the game with the opponent having six runs on the board. On June 21 against the Rockies, he gave up nine hits -- including two home runs -- letting six earned runs come across the plate in 4 1/3 innings.
In fact, since returning from the DL on June 3, Martinez has surrendered 20 earned runs in 27 innings.
(Is he healthy ? Did he come back too soon ?)
His present ERA: 7.12. That's the highest amongst anyone in the current starting rotation. Mets manager Jerry Manuel figures that Martinez is currently struggling with getting his vast assortment of pitches -- the cutter, the curve and the fastball -- clicking at opportune times.
"He's probably trying to figure some things out, and he will," Manuel said. "You know, as long as he is healthy, you know the competitor will eventually figure something out."
After the game, Martinez was jettisoned to the video room, left trying to decipher what went wrong. It's not physical, he said, because his body is fine. He insists it must be mechanical, so Martinez even asked center fielder Carlos Beltran to watch his pitching film to find out if he was tipping his pitches.
Beltran was of the opinion that Martinez was, partially explaining why his historically effective pitching arsenal has been bullied in recent appearances.
"I don't know if I'm trying too hard; I am thinking too much about it or trying to be too fine," Martinez said. "Health is here, that's the good news. Health is here. I feel healthy, and I just have to take the responsibility for what's happening right now."
(If he is healthy, it’s alarming, because he’s not fooling hitters, allowing 42 hits over 30 and 1/3 innings.)