Editor’s note: NESN.com will reflect on some of Pedro Martinez’s most impressive and most interesting Boston Red Sox moments in the days leading up to his number retirement ceremony Tuesday, July 28, at Fenway Park.

Date: Oct. 26, 2004
Location: Busch Stadium
Opponent: St. Louis Cardinals
Moment in a word: Historic

Pedro Martinez had better outings during his Hall of Fame career. But none of his stellar performances came at a better time than this one.

The Boston Red Sox pitcher was fresh off allowing nine runs to the New York Yankees in three American League Championship Series appearances when he started Game 3 of the World Series. Boston held a 2-0 series lead, but St. Louis could make things interesting by taking a game.

So Pedro did what he already had done so many times: Step up in the clutch when it mattered most.

Martinez blanked the Cardinals over seven strong innings, allowing just three hits while striking out six in an eventual 4-1 win that gave the Red Sox a huge 3-0 series lead. He wasn’t completely lights-out, but the Hall of Famer got the job done and then some, setting up history when Boston won the following night to claim its first World Series title since 1918.

It was Pedro’s last outing in a Red Sox uniform, as he signed with the New York Mets in the offseason.

Click for Pedro Martinez’s top 10 Red Sox moments >>

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@AlejandroRodelo