What if Little had gone to his bullpen earlier?
Updated: October 24, 2008, 9:29 PM ETBy Rob Neyer | ESPN.com
GAME 7, 2003 ALCS
What happened: After seven innings, Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox owned a 5-2 lead over the Yankees. Martinez had pitched well, but he'd also thrown 21 pitches in a shaky seventh inning, and 100 pitches in the game. All season long, manager Grady Little had usually pulled Martinez when he was around 100 pitches; when Pedro had been allowed to throw many more than 100 pitches, he hadn't fared well. But in the top of the eighth, David Ortiz homered to give the Red Sox a three-run lead. Blessed with that big lead, Little sent Martinez to the mound for one more inning. After a seven-pitch out, Martinez, on his 110th pitch, gave up a double to Derek Jeter. On Martinez's 115th pitch, Bernie Williams plated Jeter with a single to center field. Little visited the mound and stuck with his starter. On Martinez's 118th pitch, Hideki Matsui bounced one over the right-field fence for an automatic double. Still Little didn't make a move. And on Pedro Martinez's 123rd pitch, Jorge Posada dropped a pop fly into no-man's-land in center field, both runners scoring to tie the game.
AP Photo/Charles KrupaBy the time Grady Little removed Pedro Martinez in the eighth, he had thrown 123 pitches and the Yankees had tied the score.
Your TurnIf Little had removed Martinez from the game earlier, how would things have turned out differently? Share your alternative ending.
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