OK Allan, start typing. OB & Castig are talking about Pedro - OB watched Petey dominating the Devil Rays, the 1-hitter where Gerald Williams charged the mound. Castig called Pedro "the Sandy Koufax of his day".The Pedro/Koufax comparisons rankle me, as you may know. Koufax was great, but Pedro stands well above him. That is a simple fact. So I tracked down the email address for the booth and dashed off a note to Joe, citing some stuff from two old JoS posts.
And less than two innings later, Ish posted: "OH SNAP. This might be Allan's e-mail. ... IT IS! Named on the air!" and Laura followed: "they're reading Allan's email now! AND THEY PLUGGED HIS BOOK!!!!"
From the MLB archive of the radio broadcast (Pedro chat only):
Joe Castiglione [in the fifth]: Pedro pitches tonight, for the Phillies against the Mets. Trying to go 5-0.And as B.J. Upton batted in the top of the eighth, Castiglione said:
Dave O'Brien: I was watching a replay late last night of a young Pedro Martinez, in his prime, pitching against the old Tampa Bay Devil Rays [August 29, 2000]. It was just remarkable.
Castiglione: He dominated them like he did most teams. ...
O'Brien: And he nailed the first batter of the ball game. It was a game down there at Tropicana. He got him on the hand.
Castiglione: Was that Gerald Williams?
O'Brien: It was. It was Gerald Williams -- and he charged the mound. And he got thrown out, Pedro stayed in, and just mowed them down (laughs).
Castiglione: He had a no-hitter until John Flaherty broke it up in the ninth inning.
O'Brien: That's right. It was incredible to watch. ... But to watch Pedro, pitching better at that point in his life than he would ever pitch again, or ever had before that, start that pitch off the outside corner and run it back over and over again, and break bats and strike out guys seemingly at will ...
Castiglione: His command was remarkable.
O'Brien: That was a Hall of Famer. I was watching a Hall of Famer.
Castiglione: ... He's certainly the Sandy Koufax of his era over that period.
Castiglione: Of seven years or so. Sure-fire first round Hall of Famer.
We made a remark earlier about Pedro being the Sandy Koufax of his era. Got an interesting email from a fan -- in fact, the author of Babe Ruth and the 1918 Red Sox, Allan Wood, who makes some great points. [Upton flies to Ellsbury, Burrell bats for Perez]Very cool. I was watching NESN at the time, so I missed it live. Fellow Canadian Tim was kind enough to extract and send me an mp3 file.
The blogger, Allan Wood, points out that "while the raw numbers of Pedro and Koufax look similar, Koufax pitched with a higher mound in a pitcher's park in LA and at a time when the rule book strike zone was enforced" -- shoulders to the knees -- and "Pedro's home park favoured hitters, he had a smaller strike zone and pitched in an offensive era", the ultimate steroid era.
So, really, he points out that Pedro "leaves Koufax in the dust" and makes some great points. I would agree. Pedro's performance around '99, 2000, the most remarkable pitching in many, many years.
As I've said before, Pedro's 2000 season is the greatest year of pitching since the mound was moved back to its current distance of 60 feet, 6 inches.
And he threw eight shutout innings (8-6-0-2-7, 130) against the Mets tonight! It was his highest pitch count since he threw 136 on May 1, 2001 against the Mariners.