When I recently wrote about how Jim Thome performed in games I attended, I mentioned there were a couple games included where Thome faced Pedro Martinez in a matchup of future Hall of Famers. I wondered, offhandedly, how many of those match-ups I had ever seen where a future Hall of Fame pitcher faced a future Hall of Fame batter. How did those match-ups go?
I decided I should take a look and see. It turns out that there weren’t very many. That was helped because the Red Sox haven’t had many Hall of Fame batters on the team recently. Certainly none that spent their careers here since Boggs and Rice in the early nineties. (I’m not forgetting someone, right?) So, in the rare case where I was at a game where someone like Rickey Henderson played, it was long odds that the game also happened to feature a Hall of Fame pitcher. So, basically, we were looking at time where Pedro Martinez faced a future Hall of Fame batter, and a fluke matchup here or there. Turns out, it happened nine times (so far). Eight of them were Pedro. Here are the results.
What’s that they say about good pitching beating good hitting? Yeah. That’s apparently true. The Hall of Fame pitchers absolutely dominated their hitting counterparts. In 25 at-bats, the batters went hitless and only drew two walks. They struck out, though, nine times. Check out that ridiculous WHIP against the best hitters in the game.
Since so many of those appearances were Pedro, I decided to see what his numbers were just by himself.
As you might expect, they got even better. Pedro faced a future Hall of Fame batter 26 times while I was in the park, only once did he allow them to reach base. The walk to Jim Thome. He basically pitched a no-hitter where the only batters were headed to the Hall of Fame.
That’s just crazy talk.
I know I say it a lot, but damn he was good.