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10/16/09 9:22 PM ET
Pedro masterful in return to big stage
Veteran gives Phillies seven shutout innings after layoff
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- For seven brilliant innings, Pedro Martinez demonstrated the pitching mastery that will one day almost certainly earn him enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Martinez, who has been dealing with shoulder problems and a variety of other ailments the past four years, agreed with the decision. "My at-bat was up," Martinez said. "Normally Charlie has been pinch-hitting for me there. I felt pretty fresh but at that point, after 17 days, pushing it like that is a little risky. I would have liked to have pitched the eighth or finish the game, but if I go back out there and get hurt, then that's not good." The series isn't over. Martinez should get another start with the extra day off between Games 4 and 5 in Philadelphia. Game 5 is not until Wednesday and Martinez could pitch that game on four days' rest. "Pedro pitched a tremendous game," Manuel said. "We have no problem with him pitching anymore. I don't think that's a problem at all." The Dodgers should be the ones worried about facing him again. Russell Martin had a single in the third. Matt Kemp beat out an infield hit in the fourth but was thrown out trying to steal. Martinez -- speaking of vintage flashes of the past -- hit Martin with a pitch in the sixth. That was it. Martinez faced 23 batters and only three reached base. "Pedro is that kind of pitcher," Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez said after going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. "He doesn't have to throw 95 to get people out and he reminded people that today."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.