Pedro is doing some work for TBS as a postseason analyst and was asked during the network’s pregame show prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates-Cincinnati Reds playoff game whether he pitched around any hitters in the postseason. Mark DeRosa asked Pedro the question, and Martinez gave his answer. The three-time Cy Young Award winner specifically mentioned Jeter as the guy he tried avoiding.
“Yeah, plenty of them,” said Martinez. “Depending on the situation. Depending on the situation. The one I did not want to see forever in the postseason was actually (Derek) Jeter. Jeter was just uncomfortable to pitch to, especially in the postseason. It seems like he won’t swing and miss at a pitch. And then you make a great pitch, a quality pitch, and he fouls it off.”
Pedro’s answer probably isn’t too surprising. Jeter has long been lauded for being a clutch performer who delivers in the playoffs. The Yankees shortstop has batted .308/.374/.465 in 158 career playoff games, and has clubbed 32 doubles, five triples, and 20 home runs. Keep in mind that you’re usually facing 1-4 starters from the best teams during the postseason.
Pedro pitched in the World Series twice in his career. He helped the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004, but he went 0-2 as a starter for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Yankees in 2009. Hideki Matsui was MVP of that series.
If you look at Jeter’s career postseason stats against Pedro, the pitcher’s response makes sense.