Debating between Pedro Martinez’s dominant 1999 and 2000 seasons with the Boston Red Sox to determine which was the best of his career.
Martinez is a three-time Cy Young Award winner, the first of which he collected in his final season with the Montreal Expos in 1997. As brilliant as he was that year, leading the National League with a 1.90 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 11.4 K/9, Pedro’s best would be saved for Boston.
From 1999 to 2000, Martinez delivered the most dominant back-to-back seasons by a starting pitcher in the modern era. He captured the Cy Young in both seasons while finishing top-five on the MVP ballot.
There are some staggering numbers from the early 20th century when pitchers were allowed to throw until their arms fell off and offense was muted during the dead ball era. Pedro accomplished his legendary performances at the height of the steroid era against loaded lineups in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Combine those factors with strikeout numbers that pitchers from a century ago could never dream of and the peak of Martinez’s career if viewed even more favorably.
It’s hard to imagine any pitcher in today’s game surpassing what Martinez did in consecutive seasons but which one was Pedro’s best?