BOSTON: Former the Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez greets the fans before the game against the New York Yankees during Opening Night at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Games of Note: It's 1972, Luis Tiant's first full campaign with the Red Sox. Boston is facing the Brewers -- at this time still in the American League -- in a doubleheader, with Tiant taking the mound in the opener. The right-hander tosses his fourth-straight shutout in the outing, blanking the Brewers 2-0 on a Carl Yastrzemski home run.
Tiant hasn't been an impact pitcher for a few years now -- he led the league in strikeout rate back in 1967, and finished fifth in the MVP race in '68 -- as he posted a 98 ERA+ from 1969 through 1971. El Tiante lost 20 games in '69, then failed to clear even 100 innings in the following campaigns thanks to splitting time between relief and starting, before a return to relevance in 1972 with Boston. Tiant would end the year with a league-leading 1.91 ERA, finishing sixth in the Cy Young and eighth in the MVP vote, despite making just 19 starts in his 43 appearances.
Jumping ahead to 1999, we get Pedro Martinez taking on the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. Coming off of a pretty boring-for-Pedro game against the Royals, in which Martinez struck out 11 in six innings of work for a Game Score of 70, he brings out the kind of '99 Pedro you dream about against the M's. Pedro strikes out 15 against three walks over eight innings of work, giving Boston the W and Pedro his 20th of the season. By Game Score, it's his second-best start of the season, but he would start two more games before the year ended that topped his first appearance of September. The 1999 version of Pedro was never better than in the season's closing month.
Birthdays: Sun-Woo Kim turns 35 years old today. The right-hander was signed by the Red Sox out of South Korea back in 1997, by then-general manager Dan Duquette. Kim would begin his pro career in 1998, and made it to Boston in 2001, only to get blasted in relief and in a couple of starts. There was a repeat episode in 2002, before he was dealt off to the Expos in the Cliff Floyd deal. Kim would finish up his career in 2006 in Cincinnati, before heading to the minors for one more season with the Giants, a short stint followed by a reemergence in the Korean Baseball Organization that ended after 2010.
It's also Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson's birthday, as the former Red Sox player and current White Sox announcer turns 71.