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5 Outs Away
TOM VERDUCCI
October 11, 2004
A year ago the Cubs and Red Sox each came that close to the World Series, only to see it all blow up in eerily similar--and all-too-familiar--fashion
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October 11, 2004

5 Outs Away

A year ago the Cubs and Red Sox each came that close to the World Series, only to see it all blow up in eerily similar--and all-too-familiar--fashion

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"After the seventh," Martinez says, "Chris and Wallace told me that was pretty much it. They were going to talk to Grady."

For a moment, Martinez figured he was done. And such a moment is all it takes to trigger the shutdown of a pitcher's competitive systems. Rebooting is never easy.

"Your energy level drops," Martinez says. "As soon as you think you're out, even for 30 seconds, you get tired and out of focus."

Martinez was getting ready to leave for the clubhouse with Correnti when manager Grady Little approached him. According to Martinez, Little told him, "I need you for one more [inning]. Can you give me one more?"

"I didn't know what to say," Martinez says. "If anything happens, everyone will say, 'Pedro wanted to come out.'

"I wasn't hurt. I was tired, yes. I never expressed anything about coming out. The only way I would say that is if I was physically hurt. The only way."

So Martinez told Little he would try to give him another inning. Little, sensing Martinez's fatigue, decided on a backup plan.

"I'll tell you what, Petey," Martinez says Little told him. "Why don't you try to start the eighth. I might even send you out there just to warm up."

The implication was that Embree would be summoned at any sign of distress, even if it occurred as Martinez threw his warmup pitches.

"Help is on the way," Little told Martinez.

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