Martinez volunteers for duty
NEW YORK -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he has not yet even begun to formulate contingency plans in the event that Curt Schilling's ankle injury sidelines him for the rest of the American League Championship Series, but Pedro Martinez said he is prepared to pitch on short rest if asked.
"They know that, without knowing what's going to happen with Schill, they are probably going to have to use me on short time and I'm willing to do that," said Martinez, who threw 113 pitches in six innings while working with an extra day's rest last night.
"At this stage, I don't think there is a need for anybody to tell me whether I should pitch on short rest or not. I just see the need in my team and if it's up to me, I will pitch on short rest to pick up Schill. He's done it all year for us and if he has to go down, I'll stand up and pitch on short rest and I'll go to the bullpen, I'll do anything to try to get a win."
The Sox have other options. One possibility is to employ 14-game winner Derek Lowe, who has yet to be used in this series, though he was warming up when Keith Foulke ran into a jam in the eighth, one from which Foulke was able to extricate himself when Alex Rodriguez flied to right with the bases loaded.
Martinez is on track to pitch Game 6 Tuesday in New York. It would seem a long shot that the club would turn to him to pitch Game 5 Sunday on three days' rest, given Francona's stated aversion to using any of his starters on short rest in the postseason. But if the Sox are facing an elimination game Sunday, Martinez at least suspects it's a possibility.
As for his performance yesterday, Martinez said: "I can't do anything if we don't score runs. I can only pitch, do whatever possible to keep my team in the game, and from there on, it's up to them."
Going the distance
Jason Varitek's home run in Game 1 off Worcester's Tanyon Sturtze did more than break his 0-for-36 slump in Yankee Stadium and make a game out of what had been an eight-run laugher.
The Sox catcher, who has hit at least one home run in seven of his eight postseason series -- the only exception being the 1998 Division Series against the Indians when he was splitting time behind the plate with Scott Hatteberg -- now has eight home runs, ranking him third behind only Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench in postseason home runs by a catcher. Varitek has played in considerably fewer games (27) than the two men ahead of him, Berra hitting 12 in 75 World Series games while Bench hit 10 in 45 postseason games.
Yankees catcher Jorge Posada ranks just behind Varitek with seven, but Posada has played in 78 games.
Varitek also has hit more postseason home runs in a Red Sox uniform than any other player, one more than Nomar Garciaparra. Manny Ramirez's 17 home runs, including the one he hit in the Division Series against the Angels, tie him for fourth all-time in postseason home runs with former Indians teammate Jim Thome. Three Yankees rank ahead of him: Bernie Williams is No. 1 with 20, with Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle next at 18 apiece.
He's high on Lowe
While Lowe feels like the forgotten man in the Sox rotation, Francona insists the reason he didn't use Lowe in Game 1 was because he was saving him to pitch behind Foulke in the event of a Sox rally. That, and the fact he wanted to give Tim Wakefield some work. Lowe's importance now becomes magnified if Schilling's ankle prevents him from making another start in the series.
"Derek has won as many games as anybody," Francona said. "Derek could go out there and throw a shutout, that's how we view it."
The reason Francona had Mike Myers up in the third inning in Game 1, is that he was prepared to use the lefthanded specialist to face one batter.
"I'd rather use him for one batter in the third inning to save three runs than use him to mop up in the eighth," the manager said. He had Foulke warming in the eighth, he said, to face Posada. "Down one or down three, he was going to face Posada," he said. He preferred Mike Timlin to face Williams. "Bernie reached down and hit that pitch," Francona said of Williams's two-run double off Timlin in the eighth. "He hadn't done that before." Williams had been 2 for 20 lifetime against Timlin until that double. He was 5 for 19 against Foulke.
Keep 'em coming
The Sox set a club record and tied an LCS record for a nine-inning game by using seven pitchers in Game 1. The only AL team to use seven in a nine-inning LCS game was Minnesota in 1969 against Baltimore in Game 3, won by the Orioles, 11-2 . . . Pedro Martinez's start was his 10th in the postseason, a club record. Roger Clemens made nine . . . When Martinez grazed A-Rod with an 0-and-2 pitch in the first, A-Rod became the 18th batter hit by Martinez in 31 starts against the Bombers, including postseason . . . The Yankees scoring in the first inning against Martinez should not have been a surprise; opponents hit .281 against Martinez in the first inning, .230 thereafter.