This afternoon I watched what I consider to be the best pitched game I have ever seen in my life. It was a game I remember originally watched at home on TV. ESPN Classic showed the September 10, 1999 game between the Red Sox and Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was Andy Pettitte versus the immortal Pedro Martinez.
It was a big game for both clubs, as they were both fighting for the AL East title. There was a full house in the Bronx. Pedro hit Chuck Knoblauch, the first batter, who was then thrown out stealing by Jason Varitek. In the second inning, Chili Davis hit a home run into the bleachers to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
And that was it for the Yankees. No other Yankee reached base the rest of the night.
Pedro was completely and totally dominating the rest of the way. Mike Stanley hit a two-run homer for the Red Sox in the sixth to give the Sox the lead. In that same inning, Tim McCarver, who was doing the game with Bobby Murcer for the Yankees on TV, launched into his "Red Sox history" lesson, basically telling his audience the entire Red Sox story since their previous title in 1918. It's why every Red Sox fan despises him and every announcer who ever did that previous to October 27, 2004. And of course, they had to show a banner along the stadium wall that said: "The Bambino's Curse Lives."
Tee-hee. Yeah, right.
In the bottom of the sixth, Scott Brosius lined out to Troy O'Leary to start the inning. That would be the last ball hit to the outfield, and the last FAIR ball hit by the Yankees that night. Pedro went the rest of the game and couldn't be touched. He struck out 12 of the last 15 hitters he faced, and retired the last 22 Yankees in a row to end the game. It was also so cool to see all the Dominican fans in the bleachers wearing Red Sox jerseys and Dominican flags rooting for Pedro and the Sox.
Just watching the game again got me so pumped up. I'll never forget the great feeling watching Pedro give it to the Yankees and their fans.
The best pitched game I have ever seen. Period.
The Red Sox won, 3-1. It was Pedro's 21st win of the season. He would go on to win the AL Cy Young Award, and should have won the MVP Award if it hadn't been for a jackass writer from the New York Post named George King who kept him completely off his ballot. It went to Ivan Rodriguez instead.
Thanks for the memories, Pedro.