Pedro Martinez Says His Best Performance Almost Cost Him His Career

Pedro Martinez will always be one of the best interview subjects in sports, so when he sits down for an hour to shoot the shit on Jonah Keri's podcast, you need to make some time to listen.


The entire podcast is great, because Pedro is great, but the best thing about it is that it gives us an excuse to relive what's probably the guttiest pitching performance in history. I'm talking, of course, about the time an injured Martinez came on in relief in the fourth inning of Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS—the score tied at eight and the series tied 2-2—and pitched six no-hit innings against a Cleveland Indians team that had scored 1,000 runs that year.

You can watch the entire performance above, which is made all the more impressive by what Martinez had to say to Keri about it. This wasn't just a guy saving his team's season; it was a guy saving his team's season while very much putting his entire career on the line. From the podcast:

I risked my career that day, coming out in relief in that Indians game. That's where everything developed, that's when my shoulder started barking. Believe it or not, in 2000 I pitched well, but there was always some back and forth with pains in the shoulder and all that, and that was right after '99. I pulled a lat [during Game 1]. I did it it out of pure guts and adrenaline. I went out there and I did it, I risked my career. From the 84-86 mph that I was probably throwing in the first inning, I went all the way up to 94 again, but at the end of the game I was dying. I've never been in more pain than I was that day.

This also seems like a good time to remind everyone that during the '99 season, at the height of the steroid era, Martinez pitched 213 innings, struck out 313 batters, gave up nine home runs, and finished the year with a 2.07 ERA. Pedro Martinez was so damn awesome.