Pedro Martinez’s Nine-Inning Perfect Game

A bid by 23-year-old right-hander Pedro Martinez for the 14th official perfect game in major-league history ended on a Bip Roberts double in the 10th inning of a game on June 3, 1995. The Montreal Expos wound up with a 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres, Martinez settling for a one-hitter and his fourth win of the year, and Mel Rojas getting the save by retiring the last three Padres.

The Associated Press reported: “Martinez, the first pitcher to take a perfect game into extra innings since Harvey Haddix did it for Pittsburgh in 1959, receives credit for neither a perfect game nor a no-hitter.

He left the game after Bip Roberts led off the 10th inning with a line double that landed about 10 feet inside the right-field line. The hit came on a 1-1 count on Martinez’s 96th pitch of the game.

The Expos had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the 10th when Shane Andrews singled, Lou Frazier walked and Jeff Treadway singled to right.

Martinez was aided by a great play by right fielder Tony Tarasco with one out in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Scott Livingstone hit a liner to deep right and Tarasco made a leaping catch as he banged into the wall. Martinez then struck out pinch-hitter Eddie Williams.”

Pedro hadn’t heard of Harvey Haddix: he said, “Oh, that’s tough. But I still don’t know who he is,” after being told of their link after the game. The Montreal Gazette added: “Martinez left the game to a standing ovation and Mel Rojas came on to pick up his 11th save, getting Roberts for the second out at home plate when he induced Tony Gwynn into hitting a grounder to Treadway, who threw to Fletcher, who was blocking the plate. Rojas’s wild pitch moved Roberts to third.

One of Martinez’s major victims last night was Ken Caminiti, the Padres cleanup hitter. He struck out three times and broke his bat over his knee after his last whiff, in the eighth inning.”

Catcher Darrin Fletcher said that Martinez “spotted his fastball better than he ever has.

“He didn’t throw as many change-ups or off-speed pitches as he usually does. He only showed the off-speed pitch tonight.

“He was probably more relaxed than he’s been in the past. He was very mature out there – a very mature pitcher who got better as the game went on.”

Expos manager Felipe Alou said: “This was the best answer Pedro Martinez could give to all the harassment he’s been going through. I’m not surprised that he threw this kind of game.

“His face changed the last three days, changed for the better. He was more focused. Tonight, he did everything that Joe Kerrigan (the Expos pitching coach) has been talking to him about for a while. He stayed on top and slowed down his delivery.

“Tonight, he was Don Drysdale when he was unhittable. That’s the kind of man I saw on the mound.”

Pedro: “I know I’m still young, but I’ve been around long enough now that I think I’ve shown people what I can do.

“I’m not here to hurt anybody. But it seems like whenever I pitch, it’s always the bad things that are brought up. It’s never ‘Pedro Martinez was 11-5 last year,’ or they never look back to how good I was in Los Angeles as a reliever. It’s only the bad.”

The talk by Pedro and Alou referred to Martinez’s early reputation as a headhunter. He had touched off three few bench-clearing incidents, hitting an NL-high 11 batters in 23 starts in 1994. Including a perfect game and no-hit bid against the Cincinnati Reds before a single by Brian Dorsett broke that up, after Pedro had hit the Reds’ Reggie Sanders, who charged the mound.

Pedro said about that: “This shouldn’t be my first reputation as a pitcher, because I have been here not very long, but long enough to show what I can do. When I’m fine, I can do a lot of stuff. I don’t want to fight anybody. I’m here to play the game like I did tonight.”

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