When I think back in my mind about what every single Pedro start looked like during this era, this game is exactly what I have in mind. The offense contributing the absolute bare minimum and opponents reaching base by accident. Granted, this was against the Tigers – a team that finished 27.5 games back of first place in the AL Central (the second team in this series that didn’t play a full season because they were so bad it simply did not matter if they made up a rain out). These Tigers, playing their final season in Tiger Stadium, have only a handful of names you’d even recognize 20 years later: Brad Ausmus, Tony Clark, Jeff Weaver, Juan Encarnacion, Damion Easley, Gabe Kapler.
But we’re not here to talk about the Tigers. We’re here to talk dominance. We’re here to talk about 7.2 shout out innings that lowered Pedro’s ERA from 3.15 to 2.28. His ERA wont be this high again until July. This is his second straight game with double digit strikeouts, leading off the game with K and starting off his final inning with his 10th punch-out. A Troy O’Leary solo jack in the fourth inning is the only reason these two teams aren’t still on that field right now because Jeff Weaver answered the challenge of toeing the rubber against the GOAT. Weaver put in 6 innings of two hit ball and kept his 0.82 ERA looking rather pristine outside of that one mistake. Had he been facing a mortal pitcher he probably leaves this game with a win under his belt. But, he didn’t. That’s baseball, Suzyn.
Season stat line to date: 3-1, 27.2 IP, 8 runs, 7 ER, 38 K, 6 BB, 2.28 ERA
*Random sidenote about this game: Karim Garcia pinch hit in the bottom of the seventh inning and weakly grounded out to the first baseman. No wonder Pedro had no clue who this bum was several years later.