One of the things that made Martinez so feared throughout his career was his willingness to pitch inside regardless of the situation. It’s a strategy he hopes to see the Red Sox’ pitchers adopt in 2013.
“You team them when to do it, how to do it and how to do it properly and effectively. I think it’s all part of the game. You have to pitch inside and you have to brush them back when you have to,” Martinez said. “You have to actually make them feel uncomfortable all the time if you want to have success. One of the things that makes you feel uncomfortable is a pitch inside that is close to you at you at 99. Rubby De La Rosa or [Felix] Doubront or [Jon] Lester can get anybody uncomfortable. I will preach it and I will say they need to pitch inside if they want to have success.”
To make batters feel uncomfortable? He hit some of them.
Pedro just admitted that 90 percent of the guys he hit were on purpose. But not Karim Garcua. "Hit the bat," he said. "Lucky bastard."— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) February 18, 2013
Did this make a difference in his Phillies career? I dug into it and it just may have.
Game 2 of the 2009 World Series Martinez hit nobody. But game six, the decisive game, Martinez hit Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira in the third inning. The hit by pitch got the bat out of Teixeira's hands, but it loaded the bases. Martinez got Alex Rodriguez to strike out afterwards, but then World Series MVP Hideki Matsui followed with a two-run single to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead en route to a 7-3 Yankees win and World Series victory.
Teixeira popped out to right field in the first inning, so Martinez could get him out. But in game two Teixeira homered off of Martinez, and that very well could have been fresh in Martinez's mind. Did he hit Teixeira on purpose? We may never know but it may have made a World Series of difference.