Pedro Martinez and the Yankees certainly have a long history together. In fact, Pedro has started more games against the Bombers than any other team in the majors.
The thing is, we’re talking about a first ballot hall of famer here so as you would expect his numbers against the Yankees are, for the most part, pretty damn good. Here is the career line:
32 G, 11-11 record, 3.20 ERA, 216.2 IP, 170 H, 63 BB, 261 K, 17 HR, 1.08 WHIP.
Like I said, pretty damn good, especially considering that’s against five teams that went to the World Series. But it doesn’t come anywhere close from telling the entire story.
I am not one for a win-loss record, but in this case I feel it’s meaningful. First because nearly all of these games were big games as they were often battles over control of the AL East. Also because Pedro’s career line is 219-100, so 11-11 means Pedro barely provided an edge over the Yankees and he was not able to control them at nearly the same pace he controlled the rest of MLB.
Pedro is also 38-years-old and it is doubtful that anyone would argue that he is anywhere near the player he once was. I don’t disreguard the fact that he might still be capable of pulling a big game out of his ass, but the last time he faced the Yankees, June 27, 2008, he was lit up for six runs in 5.2 innings.
At this age his fastball is also a concern. The once blazing pitch now only gets up to 91 MPH and really sits at 89. Where his wFB used to sit in the +20 range it was -20.5 with the Mets last season and just -0.8 with the Phillies this season.
The picture I’m trying to paint here is one where the Yankees really shouldn’t fear Pedro. I’m not sure they ever really did and at 38 they shouldn’t start now. One thing that does concern me are his numbers against these hitters across the board:
Hairston .370 BA .952 OPS
Jeter .256 BA .742 OPS
Posada .183 BA .740 OPS
Rodriguez .291 BA .732 OPS
Hinske .267 BA .670 OPS
Damon .200 BA .459 OPS
Matsui .143 BA .450 OPS