The Dugout got a little treat tonight, taking in Pedro Martinez's third rehab start in St. Lucie. He fared much better than the last time out, finally looked like a pitcher that can help the New York Mets during a playoff drive.
Making his third, and by far his best, rehab start since undergoing shoulder surgery in the offseason, Martinez allowed two unearned runs on two hits in five innings and struck out four in an important victory that allowed the Mets to take a two-game lead over Brevard County.
“Today I looked more like I should look than I did in the previous two outings,” said
The outing impressed the entourage in town to see Martinez, which included New York pitching coach Rick Peterson, bullpen coach Guy Conti and brother, former major league pitcher Ramon.
“It’s the difference between watching a NASCAR race on television and sitting next to the driver going around the track,” said Peterson, who had only seen video of Martinez’s first two rehab starts. “It was great to be able to ride with Pedro around the track a few times.”
On his ability to work his sinker:
I wanted a ground ball to get a double play and I got it. I went back to it on the next batter and still got another ground ball. That’s what I meant to do. I’m getting ready for the big leagues. If, when I need to do that, I’m able to do that, believe me the double plays will be turned.
On his second to last pitch of the game, a high and tight fastball to Lorenzo Cain:
That was a fastball in. That was the one I really wanted to make a statement with.
On throwing 52 of his 72 pitches for strikes:
If I’m on and I’m healthy, I throw strikes. I get it over with quickly. They either hit me quickly or I get them quickly.
How close is he to returning to the majors?
If I was a reliever I’m pretty sure I’d be up there already because you don’t need to make that many adjustments to throw one inning or two.
What he would say to fans who are waiting for him to return to the majors:
I wish I was there with them but they know they want me there healthy. They want a Pedro Martinez that is going to help them. They don’t want to just see my face up there. I’m not that good looking.