Watching the Mets’ 8-2 win over the Nats yesterday from the comfort of my own home came without the pleasures of a Helmet Taco, yet featured a mostly solid performance from New York starter Pedro Martinez (5 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 K’s, no walks). With free agency pending at the end of the 2008 season, Martinez expressed no worries about his job security to Newsday’s David Lennon, though defending his durability at the same time.
“I just want to let you know now — and this is serious — I have never talked to any of you about extensions,” Martinez said. “I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to play next year. If anything happens to me, I’m gone and you guys can be happy. If nothing happens and I’m healthy, I’m still going to go home and think about it.
“I’m playing baseball because I have a passion for it. I respect it. I still believe that a 36-year-old shouldn’t be at home getting fat. My cholesterol is bad enough playing baseball. I’m not looking to talk about an extension. Extension talk is at the end of the season. If I get 200 innings and I put up a good season, an extension is going to be out there. I don’t need to talk to anybody. My numbers will talk. If I don’t do it, well, it’s over. You got to go home.”
As for those who believe he’s somewhat diluted now, limited to a maximum of six innings because of wear and tear, Martinez is not worried about marking his progress in those measurements. He thought he could have continued for another two or three innings Friday.
“At this era in baseball, it seems like every pitcher, including Johan , including Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pettitte, anybody you want to pick from the pile, is a six-inning pitcher,” Martinez said. “You know why? Because of the way the bullpen has been structured nowadays. Now if you want to sell me as a six-inning pitcher, I think any GM should take it.
“There’s nothing I can do if another GM thinks I’m only a six-inning pitcher. Nowadays, any GM that finds somebody that’s going to give you 90, 93 percent of the time six innings should take it and structure his bullpen around it.”