Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Pedro Still Receives Dap From His Team Mates…
Jon Blau, of www.mlb.com, reports that Pedro is still held in high regard by his teammates.
It isn't necessarily Pedro Martinez's dominance as a pitcher that earns him dap among his teammates.
The numbers in Monday's start, 5 1/3 innings, two earned runs and six strikeouts, don't shout supremacy.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel still beholds Martinez's majesty when he tries to give players an off-day, on the date the 36-year-old veteran is about to dig into the mound.
He once asked Moises Alou if he'd want a day off, and Manuel got the reply, "No, Pedro's pitching."
He once asked Carlos Beltran if he'd take a rest, and Manuel heard him say, "No, Pedro's pitching."
"When you play behind a guy such as that," Manuel said before Monday's game, "they want to do something special."
It almost wasn't enough, but the Mets put up 10 runs in support of Martinez and held off the Phillies, 10-9, in the series finale. A God-fearing individual, Martinez said he felt like his faith was being tested as his teammates struggled to hold on in the ninth inning.
For a man who is revered by his peers, Martinez's confidence as a pitcher has been under more attack than any amount of runs the Phillies could have produced in that final inning. His breaking pitches have not obeyed him through much of this season, his fastball has just started to again register in the 90-mph range, and after Monday's start, he could at least say his changeup was "a little better." Confidence, Martinez said, is still something he still wrestles with.
Manuel can tell that his pitcher isn't quite back to where he'd like to be. His pitch count was high (105 pitches), meaning Martinez was making good pitches, but they weren't quite good enough.
"He had a high pitch count, but he made some pitches when he had to," Manuel said. "I recollect he gave up two home runs, but other than that, I thought he pitched well."
(Pedro did not have his best stuff, using guile, experience, and whatever he has left, to get the job done last night. I like how he pitched out of jams in the 2nd and 4th innings, as well as giving the Mets 105 pitches. This is a good first step, towards hopefully seeing a Pedro who can help for the rest of the season.)
Posted by Mets and music fan at 8:43 AM