CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For a generation of Boston Red Sox fans, Pedro Martinez at the height of his powers was the most impressive thing they ever saw on a pitching mound.
Martinez himself never took the time to soak it in, however. He was too preoccupied with dominating batters, and all the mental and physical preparation that went with it. Now that he’s getting an opportunity to witness similar greatness in Red Sox ace Chris Sale, the Hall of Famer is making sure he takes a step back to appreciate every moment.
“I’m actually shocked, because I’ve never seen anything like it,” Martinez said of Sale. “I know you guys said that you saw it in me, but I never saw what I was doing, really. I never stopped to look at what was going on. But now that I’m seeing Chris Sale, I can now understand why the Boston fanbase got excited every time I went out.”
Martinez was at St. Peter’s Field on Thursday to support ALS research and the John Martin Fund, drawing a massive crowd to the tiny neighborhood baseball field. After starting the game and pitching two innings, Martinez met with reporters to talk about the importance of the cause.
Eventually, though, the conversation naturally turned to Sale, who is stalking Martinez’s franchise single-season strikeout record of 313 punch-outs in 1999.
“I was always a guy that was searching for greatness, for the biggest and toughest challenges,” Martinez said. “For him, it’s no exception. I think this is the guy that, if anybody’s going to do it in any era, let me clarify that, in any era, it’s Chris Sale.
“Chris Sale is suited to do anything, against anybody, in any era.”
With 241 strikeouts in 24 outings this season, Sale is averaging just over 10 strikeouts per start and a major league-best 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings. At this pace, he would smash Martinez’s single-season mark — along with making the Red Sox even more fearsome heading into the postseason.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP