Pedro is jubilant after winning the ALDS against the Indians in 1999.
After Pedro's masterpiece in Yankee Stadium the Red Sox would move on to claim the wildcard entry into the 1999 postseason.
Their opponent in the American League Division Series was the Cleveland Indians. The 1999 Cleveland Indians featured one of the best lineups in the league.
Four hitters finished the season with over 100 runs batted in. The team batting average was .289, the team ops was .840. There were also five hitters with over 20 home runs. The star among stars was Manny Ramirez who finished the season with a batting average of .333, 44 home runs, and 165 runs batted in.
The Indians were clear favorites in the series and when they won game one against Pedro Martinez who exited in the fifth inning with a back injury the Red Sox appeared to be in serious trouble.
Those troubles were compounded when they dropped game two by a lopsided score of 11-1. The Red Sox headed back to Boston and appeared ready to be swept.
Then in what would later prove as a form of foreshadowing the Red Sox put together a miraculous pair of home wins in an attempt to mount a comeback. They won game three by a score of 9-3 and then rode a monster performance by Jon Valentin who was 4 for 5 with 7 rbi and two home runs to a 23-7 game four victory.
That set the stage for a winner-take-all game five in Cleveland but it appeared that the Red Sox would have to make do without Pedro Martinez and in his place send aging former Cy Young winner Brett Saberhagen who the Indians had mashed in game two to the mound in his place.
The results were unfortunately as expected.
Saberhagen was lit up for five earned runs in just over one inning of work. Derek Lowe entered the game in the second was barely more effective. The score was 5-2 after just two innings.
The Red Sox stormed back in the top of the third to take a 7-5 lead on the strength of a Troy O' Leary grand slam home run. Could Lowe settle down and lead the Red Sox to a win?
No, the Indians scored three in the third and after the top of the fourth when the Red Sox were able to score one run the game stood tied, 8-8 and it was still only the bottom of the fourth inning. Sox pitchers had allowed eight runs already and there were still six innings left assuming that the game didn't go into extra frames.
Then Pedro Martinez entered the game.
Throwing pitches with about four or five miles per hour less velocity than this he usually would Pedro worked like a surgeon exercising precision, painting the corners, changing speeds, and rarely giving in to the Indians hitters.
The score remained 8-8 into the top of the seventh when Troy O' Leary the hero of the third inning hit another home run, his second of the night a three run job that gave the Red Sox an 11-8 lead. It was as it turned out two more runs than were necessary.
Pedro would go the remaining six innings of the game. He allowed no hits, walked three batters, and had eight strikeouts. It was a miraculous performance and cemented his legacy as one of the all-time Red Sox greats.