Almost perfect (August 29, 2000)
This isn’t typically how a pitcher wants to start out a game, but one of Pedro’s best performances came when he drilled lead-off hitterGerald Williams
on the left hand to begin the game, then stood his ground as Williams charged the mound.
After the bench clearing brawl cleared, Martinez would go on to retire the next 24 batters. If not for plunking Williams to start the game, Pedro would have had a perfect game heading into the 9th inning. As it turned out, he would surrender a lead-off base hit to John Flaherty in the 9th to break up the no-hit bid, but the Red Sox still cruised to victory behind Martinez’s brilliant performance.
Pedro would have to settle for a one-hitter in which he struck out 13 Devil Rays, but his stellar performance was nearly overshadowed by the controversy of a wild night that saw 8 Devil Rays get ejected, including manager Larry Rothschild and two of his coaches.
Despite that many believed Pedro intentionally hit Williams, the Sox starter was not tossed from the game. That’s a good thing (unless you’re from Tampa Bay), because if he had been then it would have deprived us of one of the best performances of his career.