Little leaves Pedro in too long
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Martinez, who hadn't pitched since Saturday's fracas-filled Game 3 at Fenway Park, threw 123 pitches before being lifted. That was likely too many pitches, since Little had the option of going to his bullpen at that time for
Martinez was at 118 pitches when
"Pedro Martinez has been our man all year long and in situations like that, he's the one we want on the mound over anybody we can bring in out of that bullpen," Little said after the game. "He had enough left in his tank to finish off Posada. He made some good pitches to him, squeezed his ball out over the infield and there's nothing we can do about it now."
What was Little saving his bullpen for? His team needed just five more outs to clinch a spot in the World Series for the first time since 1986. The Boston bullpen struggled during the regular season, but came together in a huge way in the division series against Oakland and was dominant in the ALCS.
Not to bring in Wakefield, Timlin, Embree or even
"Pedro wanted to stay in there," said Little. "He wanted to get the job done just as he has many times for us all season long and he's the man we all wanted on the mound."
Martinez said he couldn't put the blame on Little.
"I wouldn't put Grady on the spot, whatsoever," Martinez said. "I am the ace of the team. You have to trust me. I wasn't really thinking about the pitch count. This is no time to say I'm tired. This is the time...to stay out there.
"There is no reason to blame Grady. Grady doesn't play. I do. If anybody wants to look at somebody and point a finger, they can point it at me because I was the one pitching. I was the one who gave up the lead...I'm responsible for the pitches I make."