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Is Pedro going to get shelled tonight?

Oct 29, 2009, 10:28 AM EDT

FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is generally pro-Phillies in this column and likes them to win it all, but he’s got a good point here:

Hey, I love Pedro. It is foolish to bet against him. But no one has any idea how he will pitch in cool weather against an American League club using a DH, one that happened to be the highest-scoring team in the majors during the regular season

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working the Series for FOX, says Martinez will be tough if he throws his breaking ball for strikes. The Yankees, if they start to press, might even prove easy prey, given Martinez’s ability to change speeds and read hitters.

Of course, the other, perhaps more realistic, possibility is that the Yankees will simply crush Martinez and his diminished, 87-90 mph fastball.

I’m a huge Pedro Martinez fan myself, and my own World Series prediction notwithstanding (I need the Phillies to lose four of five to be proven correct) nothing would make me happier to see him catch some 1999 lightning in a bottle tonight.

Like Rosenthal, however, I just don’t like his chances of doing it.  Cliff Lee has proven over the past two years that when he’s on the top of his game, he is basically untouchable.  The 2009 version of Pedro Martinez, however, is merely good at his best, eminently hittable if he’s off. And that’s when he’s not facing the Yankees, who have basically had his number over the course of his career.

The Yankees are due, and I think Martinez will be hit hard tonight.

  1. aceshigh - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:44 AM

    There is certainly a good chance that Pedro will be shelled, considering his age and diminished velocity. His experience and craftiness will definitely be assets, although perhaps not enough to paper over his deficiencies.
    However, let us not forget that Burnett is anything but a sure bet. He’s been erratic at best, and prone to meltdowns on the mound.
    Tonight may very well be about which team can out-slug the other.

  2. Joey B - Oct 29, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    As a RS fan, I didn’t mind seeing Pedro leave for the Mets, since he was past his prime. But he is also about the smartest pitcher I’ve ever seen, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see pitch five decent innings, allowing baserunners, but stranding a lot of them. 3 ERs in 5 innings or so would be a great outing, but it might be enough to keep the Phillies close enough to steal one.

  3. jonny5 - Oct 29, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    Pedro will make Burnett look silly tonight IMO. The Phillies bats are going to rattle Burnett to his core, And we well know that Pedro doesn’t get rattled. Sure he’ll give up hits, sure A-rod or Tex will put one over the wall. But Burnett will melt down against the Phills. Once that happens, Girardi will go to his pen. Pedro will probably last 5 innings maybe 6 then Happ will come in throwing 98 mph Heat. It’s going to be a slug fest tonight, and it’s anyone’s game.
    GO PHILLS!!!!

  4. Largebill - Oct 29, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    With Pedro it is all about movement and getting batters to expand the zone. If he gets mostly first pitch strikes he might survive especially if he has an early lead and the Yankee batters get anxious. Charlie Manuel will be thrilled if Pedro goes 5 or 6 innings and gives up 4 or less runs. If he has to go to the bullpen before the 5th . . . .

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    then Happ will come in throwing 98 mph Heat. It’s going to be a slug fest tonight, and it’s anyone’s game.

    I think you transposed the numbers there. His fball averages at 89, so i doubt he’s throwing 95+ heat.

  6. Vafflking - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    “FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is generally pro-Phillies in this column and likes them to win it all…”
    Rosenthal picked the Yankees in 6.

  7. John - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    There will be no “Who’s your daddy?” chants tonight in Yankee Stadium as Pedro will recapture some of that ’04 magic and pick up where Lee left off in keeping the Yankee bats silent.

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