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Martinez during game three of the 2004 World Series
When planning a Mount Rushmore of Red Sox pitchers, Pedro Martinez should be the first face sculpted.
Martinez put together one of the best pitching careers of all time—219-100 record, 2.93 ERA, 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings—and the heart of it all came in Boston.
After being traded to Boston from the Montreal Expos before the 1998 season, his presence was immediately felt.
In his Boston debut season, he went 19-7 with a 2.89 ERA, finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting.
Martinez was just getting warmed up. He went on to capture the next two AL Cy Young awards in two of the best seasons ever posted by a pitcher.
In 1999, he led the league with a minuscule 2.07 ERA, and posted an unbelievable 23-4 record in that season. Additionally, he struck out 313 batters, a number which only Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson have been able to surpass since.
He showcased his spectacular control that season, walking batters at a rate of just 1.6 per nine innings, or just 37 total.
The defining game of Martinez's career came in the decisive game of the 1999 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.
Red Sox pitching was having a difficult time containing the dangerous Cleveland offense; Brett Saberhagen and Derek Lowe had combined for three innings pitched and given up eight runs.
With the game tied in the fourth inning, the Red Sox brought Martinez into the game. He went on to hold the Indians to zero hits over the next six innings, which allowed the Red Sox to win 12-8.
Martinez is one of few pitchers in MLB history to be able to not just match that season's output, but top it.
In 2000, Martinez dropped his already microscopic ERA to 1.74, and his walks per nine dropped to 1.3. He also posted the lowest WHIP of all time, registering at a trim 0.737. He also saw his record decline to a more mortal 18-6, but given his numbers, it's quite evident that this was through fault of the Red Sox's offensive flaws.
The rest of his Boston career was fantastic as well, including another should-be Cy Young season in 2002 (the voters robbed him of it in favor of Barry Zito), and, of course, the World Series ring in 2004.
Martinez had his worst season wearing a Red Sox uniform in 2004, going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA, but with co-ace Curt Schilling, and a great offense—that was enough to lead the Sox to the promise land.
Even if this list were "Best All-Time Baseball Rotations", Martinez would be my pick for the ace. In his prime, no pitcher in the history of the game could match the excellence Martinez consistently brought to the mound.