Miller: The ‘Pedro Game’ turns 20 years old

From Sam Miller at on September 10, 2019:

Pedro Martinez was, from 1997 through 2003, the greatest pitcher in major league history. Other pitchers had better careers — longer careers — but nobody was better for a sustained period of time than Martinez was in those years.

But who was the greatest Pedro Martinez in Pedro Martinez history — in other words, when specifically did Pedro Martinez reach his ultimate peak? The answer might be 20 years ago today. He was three years into that seven-year run, he was wrapping up a season with by far the best FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in modern baseball history, and he was smack in the middle of an eight-game stretch in which he would strike out 107 batters, walk eight and allow a 1.16 ERA. His start on Sept. 10, 1999, was the best of the eight.

A friend told me once that Martinez’s start that night was The Pedro Game. I was confused. I already knew what The Pedro Game was, and it didn’t happen 20 years ago tonight. Then a different friend told me that, no, The Pedro Game was actually a different game still. And then I asked a big group of friends and was startled to realize just how many iconic, unique, capital-letter Pedro Days there were that Pedro Martinez threw in his career. There are seven, at least.

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Originally published: September 10, 2019. Last Updated: September 10, 2019.