Rather than sit here and search for the right word that begins with P, I’m going to be lazy and get right to the point. I saw Pedro Martinez pitch last night. Thanks to a family friend who hooked us up with free Rockies/Mets tickets, my wife and I were able to take in a pleasant night at the ballpark in Denver. I was particularly stoked because future Hall of Famer (and no, I won’t debate this. His numbers are Kofaxian) Pedro Martinez was on the mound. I go out of my way to try and catch future Hall of Famers as much as possible. My grandfather regaled me with stories of living in New York in the late 40s, and he saw just about everyone who mattered. I’m trying to do the same, despite living two hours from the closest big league team.
Of course, watching Pedro today isn’t what it was 8-9 years ago when he had perhaps the greatest stretch of any pitcher in history. But last night, for one night, or at least for four innings, he was dominant. He actually hit 92 on the gun, a feat which I had been convinced he was no longer capable of. He made Matt Holiday look awful by freezing him with a 68 MPH curve. It was a like that hook bent time itself transporting us all back 10 years and several DL stints. The years and the damage to his wire thin right arm peeled off him, even if just for a few innings.
Unfortunately, his great four frames most likely had much more to do with the sun than his arm. The game had started early in the Colorado evening, and when the mound and the plate were at last both engulfed by the shadows, the magic died with the light. In the start of the 5th, the Rockies came to bat for the first time that day with ability to actually track the Great Pedro’s stuff.
The result? Back to back home runs to start the inning. 5 more hits and 4 more runs later, Pedro was gone, and we were all left to cheer the home team, but maybe just a little sad that we saw one of the great pitchers of our time reduced to just one more shadow on mound.