AUTHOR'S NOTE: MARTINEZ'S SCHEDULE START ON SATURDAY WAS POSTPONED DUE TO SNOW. J.A. HAPP IS DUE TO START SUNDAY. MARTINEZ MAY OR MAY NOT START IN THE BALANCE OF THIS SERIES OR BE MOVED TO THE BULLPEN.
As baseball fans know, Martinez pitched six no-hit innings, as the Red Sox won the game 12-8.
In the American League Championship Series, he pitched seven shutout innings to give the Red Sox their only win in the championship series against the Yankees.
The Yankees beat the Red Sox, four games to one, then swept the Atlanta Braves to win their 25th World Series title.
Martinez won the Cy Young Award that year, one of three such honors for the sure-fire Hall of Fame right-hander.
Fast forward 10 years later and in August, Martinez, after almost a year away from baseball, joins the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies.
The highlight of his body of work in the regular season was a 1-0 eight-inning win on Sept. 13 against the Mets.
He has started only two games since, throwing 140 pitches in seven innings. He allowed six runs on 13 hits, two of them home runs in the division-clinching game against Houston on Sept. 30.
It’s 10 years later, and it would be foolish to expect the same production out of Martinez.
But here is my assessment. He is a big-game pitcher and loves the big stage. For as much as he smiles and jokes around with teammates and the media, he is all business on the mound.
Expect six to seven good innings from Martinez. The over/under line, in my mind, on runs allowed should be two. I hope for better than that and also hope for no more than that.
It is quite possible that the Phillies could lose the game 2-0. But I believe the Phils will follow Martinez’s lead and manufacture a few runs.
I believe in Charlie Manuel and am not worried going into this game.
It sure is not 2008 for the Phillies. But it also is not 2007 for the Phillies, when they got swept by the Rockies, three games to none.