Bullpen blows Martinez's masterpiece

Though the bullpen blew the game, Pedro Martinez's Opening Day start was nothing less than brilliant for the Mets.

Originally Published: April 4, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
CINCINNATI -- Every scouting report on Pedro Martinez comes with the obligatory qualifier these days. He's still very good, the writers say, but they wonder if a bona fide staff "ace'' shouldn't be a lock to pitch 230-240 innings a year. Martinez hasn't surpassed 230 innings since 1998, and as any Red Sox fan or roto-maniac can attest, he has a tendency to fade after 90 pitches.

Baseball executives hold Martinez in high regard as well, for his competitiveness and ongoing commitment to excellence. But most of them figure Mets general manager Omar Minaya went a little ga-ga giving Martinez a four-year, $53 million deal over the winter.

Martinez is 33 years old and his shoulder gets a little ouchy at times. A lot of general managers privately wonder how smart Minaya's investment will look in, say, 2008.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer