1999 was a special year for Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez. 23 wins, four losses, a 2.07 ERA, a career-high 313 strikeouts, and his second of three career Cy Young awards. All Pedro did in the Red Sox postseason run that season was throw 17 scoreless innings and strike out 23 batters which ended when the Red Sox lost in five games to the Yankees.
His signature moment of 1999 though was 17 years ago today on July 13. Pedro put up an unprecedented All-Star Game performance at Fenway Park as he faced the National League’s best and struck out five of the six batters that stepped up to the plate, including the first three of the game which had never been done before in the All-Star Game.
First is Barry Larkin. That change-up was absolutely filthy. Unhittable. Next is Larry Walker who hit .379 in 1999, the highest single-season batting average of the last 20 seasons. Couldn’t even take the bat off of his shoulder. Then he just blows away Sosa and McGwire who hit a combined 128 homers in 1999. Finally, he finishes his night off by striking out Jeff Bagwell who finished 2nd in NL MVP voting in 1999. Luckily for Mike Piazza on deck, he didn’t have to strike out against Pedro because Matt Williams got caught stealing after reaching on an error.
All of this in front of the home crowd at Fenway Park. This was when the game was just an “exhibition” though. Shame that nobody cared.