20 years ago we witnessed the best pitcher in the history of baseball during his absolute apex. A season which should have ended with an MVP, but we’ll get to that in due time. For now, I am going to bring it back to 1999 for all 31 starts – plus the All Star Game and playoffs – which took place during this magical run. Because that’s what Pedro deserves. (Honestly he deserves much more than this but this is all I got.) Simply having that season does nothing if it cannot be relived in perpetuity, you know?
So we start in Kansas City, and buddy… it’s not looking good. This is the guy that’s supposed to break the Curse? This is our ace? Giving up a home run to the second batter of the season, followed by an RBI double minutes later? We’re talking about the Kansas City Royals here. A team that finished 64-97. Carlos Beltran? Johnny Damon? Jermaine Dye? Who even are these bums? They were so bad they didn’t even feel the need to play all of their games. And this guy can’t even get out of the first without putting his team in a hole? Sure, the Sox narrowly escaped with a 5-3 win. Pedro was able to rack up nine strikeouts over six innings of work while yielding six hits and only allowing one walk.
121 pitches in just six innings straight up isn’t going to be sustainable. With how slight of frame Pedro is you have to wonder if his arm is going to be there late in the season when this team is making a playoff push. If his signature power isn’t there come October there’s no way he could be effective against a lineup full of sluggers like, say, oh I don’t know, the Indians. Don’t want to be over-reactionary to just one start, I’m just trying to assess the facts and project moving forward. Hopefully his next start against the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays can yield many more positives and fewer negatives.
Season stat line to date: 6 IP, 2 runs, 2 ER, 9 K, 1 BB, 3.00 ERA