As you may have heard, a certain wily veteran right-hander will start Game 2 of the World Series for the Phillies on Thursday night. If his six previous playoff appearances against the Yankees are any indication, the cockfighting, dwarf-betraying petunia gardener will provide plenty to talk about.
October 16, 1999, Fenway Park, ALCS Game 3; Red Sox win 13-1. After throwing six no-hit relief innings in the clinching game of the previous series against Cleveland (with a strained shoulder that left him without a fastball), Pedro is vintage: twelve strikeouts over seven shutout innings in the only Red Sox win of the series. Roger Clemens takes the loss.
After Clemens leaves the game in the third, Sox fans spend the rest of the night in a “Where is Roger? / In the shower” call and response, which turns out to have been inaccurate, since he was actually in his steroid chamber.
October 11, 2003, Fenway Park, ALCS Game 3; Yankees win 4-3. A Pedro vs. Roger rematch. This time Roger gets the better of it, but no one really remembers that because of a bench-clearing fight in the fourth inning during which 72-year-old Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer charges at Martinez, who tosses Zim to the ground. “Zimmer Had It Coming” T-shirts are later sold outside of Fenway.
October 16, 2003, Yankee Stadium, ALCS Game 7; Yankees win 6-5. Yet another Pedro vs. Roger duel. Martinez pitches seven strong and then Grady Little happens. The Red Sox manager leaves Pedro in to start the eighth (questionable) with the Sox leading 5-2. After a Nick Johnson pop out, Derek Jeter doubles. Grady leaves Pedro in (dubious). Bernie Williams drives Jeter in with a line drive to center. Grady visits Pedro on the mound (smart) and then leaves him in to face Hideki Matsui (not smart). Matsui smashes a ground-rule double. Grady sits in the dugout with Jorge Posada coming to bat (breathtakingly stupid). Posada ties the game with a double and Grady finally takes Pedro out of the game after 123 pitches. Three innings later comes Aaron Boone. The Red Sox fire Little eleven days later. This remains the only time Pedro has thrown more than seven innings in a playoff game.
October 13, 2004, Yankee Stadium, ALCS Game 2; Yankees win 3-1. Martinez is outpitched by Yankee rent-a-starter Jon Lieber, but the hero of the game is Yankee rent-a-first-baseman John Olerud, who lines a two-run homer off of Pedro in the sixth. Yanks win 3-1. Yankee fans serenade Pedro throughout the night with chants of “Who’s your daddy?” in reference to his famous remarks after a loss to the Yankees in September: “What can I say — just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy. I can’t find a way to beat them at this point. … They’re that good. They’re that hot right now — at least against me. I wish they would disappear and not come back.”
October 18, 2004, Fenway Park, ALCS Game 5; Red Sox win 5-4. Facing Mike Mussina in the second game of Boston’s comeback, Martinez leaves trailing 4-2 after six innings. The Red Sox would rally off of the ghost of Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera in the eighth and win on a David Ortiz single in the fourteenth. Forgotten in the defeat is Derek Jeter’s clutch three-run double off of Pedro in the sixth.
October 20, 2004, Yankee Stadium, ALCS Game 7; Red Sox win 10-3. On the blackest date in Yankee history, Martinez relieves Red Sox starter Derek Lowe in the seventh inning with the Red Sox leading 8-1. For Yankees fan, the gratuitous appearance simply adds insult to injury. For Red Sox fans, a brief traumatized panic ensues when Pedro surrenders three hits and two runs.