The 2010 season held some truly amazing moments for the Phillies.
In December of 2009, the Phillies made a trade for one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. Roy Halladay was a Philadelphia Phillie. Five of Halladay’s first eleven starts would be complete games.
It would be his 11th start that set the tone for what would be his second Cy Young Award season. On May 29th, Roy Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history and the second in Phillies history.
Halladay wasn’t the only Phillies pitcher making history. On May 7th, grizzled veteran starter Jamie Moyer threw the 10th shutout of his career. At age 47, Moyer became the oldest pitcher to throw a shutout in MLB history. Troy Glaus had the only 2 hits in the game for the Braves.
On August 19th, the Phillies would have one of their biggest comebacks in recent history. In the top of the 8th inning, the Dodgers added 3 runs to their lead, pushing the score to 9-2. Their win expectancy moved to 100%.
As we know, nothing is 100% in this world. The Phillies would score 4 in the 8th and 4 in the 9th. The Phillies won a walkoff 10-9, against Jonathon Broxton, of course.
And then in the postseason, Roy Halladay would throw the 2nd no-hitter in playoff history against Joey Votto and the Reds. It was Halladay’s first-ever playoff game.
What wasn’t memorable were the seasons Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick had. In 356.1 IP between the two, the starters had a 4.77 ERA.
One of those 2 was almost replaced by a Hall of Famer in the rotation.
Pedro Martinez was almost resigned
During Phillies alumni weekend, Phillies reporter for the Inquirer, Matt Breen, caught up with Pedro Martinez. Breen put together an interesting piece centering around that Martinez and other Phillies had the swine flu during the 2009 World Series.
Within the article, Martinez had another interesting quote.
” “I made a mistake by kicking everybody aside and waiting for this team and then it didn’t happen,” Martinez said. “I was told by Ruben that they were going to go after me so I told the other teams ‘No. Wait.’ The call never came. I had three teams in mind or else I wasn’t going to go. Philadelphia was number one.” “
Ruben Amaro Jr. told Pedro Martinez that the Phillies were going to go after him in free agency. The 2015 Hall of Fame inductee was almost a Phillie in 2010.
Imagine the meeting of the minds between HoFers Roy Halladay and Martinez. Throw in Jamie Moyer and Cole Hamels and you have an eclectic group of veteran starters all coming together in one rotation.
Between the 4 would be 58 years of pitching experience, but what would 2010 Pedro Martinez look like? How could have 2010 looked different for the Phillies?
I’m glad you asked.
2010 Pedro Martinez
When the Phillies signed Martinez on July 15th, 2009, the Phillies knew what they were getting. Gone were the days of the 1999 All-Star game.
Pedro Martinez was throwing major heat, touching the high 90’s and featuring wipe out off-speed stuff. He struck out 5, becoming the first pitcher to strike out the first 3 batters of the All-Star Game.
After moving on from the Red Sox for the New York Mets, Martinez would go through a few health issues, only playing one full season for the Mets.
In those injury-shortened years from 2006-2008, Martinez had an ERA of 4.74 in 48 starts. Things were different in 2009. After signing with the Phillies, Martinez would have 3 rehab starts in the minors.
Pedro would only average 4 IP per start in his first 4 starts and ERA was at 4.50. This was also a Pedro Martinez that hadn’t pitched in the majors since September 25, 2008. Martinez’s last 5 regular season starts would be closer to what a healthy 2010 Pedro would look like.
A 3.14 ERA in 28.2 IP is more of the Pedro Martinez fans are familiar with. Not everything was good in this stretch either. In 2 games, Pedro failed to make it past the 4th inning, allowing 3 earned runs in each.
But 2 of those games…
Pedro was the Hall of Famer we knew him to be. On September 3rd, Martinez faced a quality San Francisco Giants team that was 73-61 at the time. All the 3x Cy Young winner would allow was a solo homer to Eugenio Valez. Over 7 IP, Martinez would strike out 9 Giants all while facing current Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.
On September 13, 2009, Martinez would face off against his former club, the New York Mets. For the first time since May 31, 2006, Martinez threw 8 shutout innings. Bittersweetly, this would be Pedro’s final win of his major league career.
The fact that Pedro could still go 8-innings showed that he was finally health for the first time in forever. A 2010 run with the Phillies for Pedro would most like resemble 2006, if you threw out his last 4 starts.
In 121 IP, Martinez went 9-4 with a 3.42 ERA and 124 K. A 2010 version of Pedro would most likely see a slightly lower K rate, something around 8 K/9, and a slightly higher ERA, around 3.6-3.7.
The postseason in 2009 also showed us that Martinez still had gas in the tank. In his one NLCS start against the potent Dodgers lineup, Pedro threw 7 innings of 2-hit ball. In his first appearance in the World Series against the Yankees, Martinez would have a quality start, pitching into the 7th inning and only allowing 3 ER.
His second start would not be as good and the Yankees would ultimately win the series. However, thanks to Matt Breen’s article, we now know that Pedro was dealing with swine flu during the World Series, stating that he had a “little bit of an asthma attack in the middle of the game”.
There’s a chance Martinez would’ve been effective in the playoffs of 2010 as well.
Photo credit: Mike Segar: Reuters
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