Thursday, August 13, 2009
Pedro Martinez Debuts On Same Night Tim Lincecum Continues His Dominance
Last night, it was great to see the return of Pedro Martinez. After being out of baseball for almost a year, due to injuries, Martinez, who signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, was triumphant in his debut. He pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 runs while striking out 5. A respectable performance for the once-dominant pitcher. After the game he admitted to reporters, he's not quite 100% and expects to get stronger with every game. He even jokingly reminded a reporter that he has 3 Cy Young Awards at home. In other words, reminding him that he used to be pretty good in the art of pitching.
However, even Martinez would admit, he will never be the dominant pitcher he was in the past, but he hopes to reinvent himself and hopefully help the Phillies defend their title.
Coincidentally, Martinez' debut was on the same night Tim Lincecum was pitching for the San Francisco Giants. Lincecum, who in my opinion is the second-coming of Martinez, pitched a dominant game, although he ended with a no-decision. He was leading 2-1 in the ninth, but gave up the tying run before being lifted for reliever, Brian Wilson. The Giants would eventually win the game 4-2 in 10 innings.
So far this year, Lincecum is 12-3, with 205 strikeouts and an eye-catching 2.19 ERA. If he continues at this pace, he would join Martinez (1997, 1999, 2000) as the only active pitchers to lead their leagues with an ERA under 2.20. Like Martinez, Lincecum is a strikeout pitcher with impeccable control. In his young career, he is averaging 10.2 strikeouts per 9 innings, a touch better than Martinez' 10.1 per nine innings in his 18 year career.
Neither pitcher has ever issued 100 walks in a season while combining for 11 seasons of over 200 strikeouts. Astonishing control.
It's hard to predict how successful Martinez will be in his latest comeback, but we do know, he's already passed the baton to the skinny kid in San Francisco.