BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Tuesday to talk about the Red Sox’ start to the 2017 season and his upcoming charity event, the “Feast With 45” at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have gotten off to an up-and-down 3-3 start and have been ravaged by the flu, but new ace pitcher Chris Sale has come as advertised. He has allowed just two earned runs in 14.2 innings so far, but took his first loss of the season in Detroit on Monday after allowing a late rally by the Tigers.
Sale held himself accountable for giving up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on Monday, even if it was a very strong outing overall (7.2 innings, 2 runs, 10 strikeouts). Pedro said that Sale’s desire to pitch as well as possible is part of what makes him one of the game’s best pitchers.
“That’s a sign of greatness,” said Pedro. “When you don’t settle, not even for having a great game like that, and you’re striving to get better … he’s aiming for perfection.
“I know he’s not going to get perfection [all the time], but he’s going do the best that he can every single time out.”
It might be easy to criticize Sale for failing to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard, but Pedro isn’t the least bit worried about Sale – or the Red Sox offense.
“When this offense that we have in Boston comes together and everybody’s healthy, I think we are going put up huge numbers for him,” he said.
Sale certainly has the right mentality to pitch in an intense market like Boston. His teammate David Price, on the other hand, has shown the opposite personality. Pedro believes Price may have gotten an unfair level of criticism for last season, which wasn’t his best but wasn’t an abject disaster either.
Pedro believes Price can improve upon his 2016 season due to having less pressure to lead the pitching staff with the emergence of Rick Porcello and the arrival of Sale.
“Now, having a bit of pressure off of his shoulders and Porcello doing a good job for the team and the rest of the guys chipping in a little bit, I think he should be even better,” he said. “I just hope that he doesn’t make the mistake of falling into the trap to go out there at 70 percent instead of being totally healthy.
“I expect him to get healthy, especially this early in the season … and when he’s healthy and can really compete and push it, then he can do that and do it the best that he can.”
Pedro is hosting the “Feast for 45” event on May 6 at Fenway Park, which includes food from 39 of Boston’s best chefs and appearances from numerous other famous pro athletes. All proceeds benefit the Pedro Martinez Charity in his native Dominican Republic. You can get tickets here.
Listen to the full podcast below: