Pedro Martinez had swagger.
Not only could he shut you down with his devastating arsenal of pitches. But he also could make you look bad in the process. And if you ticked him off? Oh man, you were in for it.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays learned this the hard way on Aug. 29, 2000.
That’s the night Gerald Williams charged the mound in the first inning after being drilled on the wrist by Martinez, setting the stage for one of the Boston Red Sox ace’s most memorable performances ever.
Williams, batting leadoff, took exception to being plunked and went after Martinez, who stood his ground despite giving up several inches. An all-out, bench-clearing brawl ensued, and the Devil Rays hardly seemed ready to let things go even after the dust settled, as several of the club’s pitchers threw at Red Sox first baseman Brian Daubach in the innings that followed.
Martinez had a different, more productive way of exacting revenge. Instead of going head-hunting or nailing someone right between the numbers, Martinez completely shut down Tampa Bay’s offense.
He didn’t allow a baserunner after Williams’ first-inning hit by pitch until John Flaherty broke up his no-hit bid with a single to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning. Martinez struck out 13 in a complete-game shutout that Boston won 8-0.
It was Pedro at his finest.
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