Pedro goes for win No. 7

Originally Published: June 6, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 7:05 p.m. ET: Barry Zito of Oakland throws against Tony Armas of the Nationals, as Washington defends its standing as King of the NL East Hill.

Pedro Martinez
Starting Pitcher
New York Mets
Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA BAA P/GS
11 6 1 12 92 2.62 .159 98.9

• 7:10: The Pitching Matchup of the Night will be in the one non-interleague game. Roy Oswalt of the Astros, 6-6 with a 3.06 ERA, pitches against the Mets' Pedro Martinez, who is arguably the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award. Opponents are hitting .159 against Martinez, the lowest average against any qualifying pitcher, by a wide margin; Roger Clemens ranks second, at .185. The opponents' OPS of .468 against Martinez is also the lowest, again by a sizeable margin; hitters have a .502 OPS against Clemens.

• 7:35: Two teams devastated by injury face off in the second game of an interleague series -- the Angels, trying to survive without Vladimir Guerrero, against the Braves, who have just lost Chipper Jones indefinitely. Paul Byrd starts for L.A., Horacio Ramirez pitches for the Braves, and it's a distinct possibility that there will be extracurricular activities in this game. The Braves were furious when Darin Erstad injured Braves catcher Johnny Estrada Monday night by hitting him high on his way to home plate.

• 8:05: The Yankees don't exactly have a good matchup in the midst of their Road Trip From Hell: Carl Pavano, who has been struggling, against the Brewers' Ben Sheets, who is still trying to work his way from an inner ear infection but nonetheless has a big-game mentality. The Yankees have eight losses in nine games, and they are seven games out of first place in the AL East, six games behind in the wild-card race.

• 8:10: The Guy Most Likely To Go Deep will be Manny Ramirez of the Red Sox, who has some good history against Jeff Suppan of the Cardinals: seven hits in 19 at-bats, including three home runs. Matt Clement throws for Boston.

• 9:05: The Reverse Lock of the Night will pit the White Sox – heavy favorites – against the Rockies. Byung-Hyun Kim, bearing a 7.04 ERA, starts for the Rockies, against Jose Contreras.

• 10:10: The Dodgers have won three in a row and seem as if they might be gaining some momentum, and now they turn to Derek Thompson, who has pitched five innings in each of two starts in his career, to face the Tigers. Nate Robertson throws for Detroit.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Monday
The Good: The Cardinals beat the Red Sox Monday night, 7-1; that's one more victory than they achieved in the entire World Series last year. St. Louis is rolling along with the best record in the NL, 6½ games ahead of the Cubs in the Central.

The Bad: Nothing is going right for Atlanta these days. They've got serious bullpen issues, Danny Graves reportedly is leaning toward the Mets or Marlins, Chipper Jones and Johnny Estrada are both injured, and now the Braves are sinking toward .500. They're just three games over .500, after their 4-3 loss to the Angels Monday.

The Ugly: There were times on Monday night when the Yankees looked utterly helpless against Doug Davis and the Brewers, as if they were the team with the $40 million payroll matched up against the $208 million juggernaut. That hasn't happened too many times during Joe Torre's tenure as manager.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine