On September 10, 1999 — The Red Sox trip the Yankees, 3 – 1, as Pedro Martinez hurls an impressive one-hitter for his 21st victory of the year. Martinez strikes out 17 batters, the most Yankees ever fanned in a single game. DH Chili Davis’ 2nd-inning home run is New York’s only safety. Chuck Knoblauch, leading off the game, gives the Yankees their only other baserunner; he is caught stealing, so Martinez faces just one over the minimum.
The Red Sox right-hander extends his own record to 40 consecutive innings with at least one strikeout per frame.
“New York is a special place,” he said. “My people come over (and) there’s a lot of pride to see me. I would like to do it for them, but New York is just one place, one more field to play on and one more team to try to beat.”
Aside from hitting the first batter he faced. Chuck Knoblauch, and serving up a 422-foot opposite-field home run to Chili Davis — the only hit he gave up all night — Martinez was flawless, overshadowing everything that happened at the Stadium. That includes ex-Yankee Mike Stanley going 4-for-5 with a two-run shot in the sixth that gave the game back to Martinez at 2-1.
Martinez (21-4) took care after that, going on to retire 22 straight after Davis’ homer. It left most in the Red Sox clubhouse almost too stunned for words.
“That’s the greatest game I’ve ever seen pitched anywhere, and I’ve been in baseball 26 years,” said Boston pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, who’s been with Martinez more than six years, including four in Montreal. “It seems like every two weeks somebody asks me if that was the best I’ve ever seen him pitch and I say yes. Two weeks later, somebody else asks the same question and I say yes again.”
Red Sox manager Jimy Williams was similarly awestruck.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a guy pitch like that in one game, especially against a lineup like that,” he said. “I mean, that was a special game.” Williams relieved the moment, shook his head and asked, “How many did he strike out?” When told, he shook his head again and said, “They’ve got those kinds of hitters over there, and to pitch like that. I’ve never seen a guy pitch like that.”
Even Martinez, who won for the fifth time in his last six outings, was amazed as he thought about it.
“It doesn’t get any more special,” he said. “This is as good as it gets.”
(Michael James – Daily News)