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New York Mets (14-7) at Atlanta Braves (9-12) on 4/28/06 at 7:35


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Pedro opposes Smoltz in Atlanta

New York Mets (14-7) at Atlanta Braves (9-12), Friday, 7:35 p.m. ET

 

He'll say it's just another game. And that is one way of characterizing it. It's just another confrontation with John Smoltz, the third one for Pedro Martinez in little more than a year, the fifth one of his career. Where's the distinction in that?

"I'm pitching against the Braves, not against him," is how it usually goes when one accomplished pitcher is to face another and prefers to de-emphasize the matchup.

 

Martinez wasn't all for that Tuesday night, as he discussed his fifth 2006 start, his Friday night start at Turner Field opposite Smoltz, the last vestige of the great Braves rotation.

 

"I know who is pitching for them," he said.

 

He embraces the challenge -- any challenge, actually.

 

He enjoyed it early last April, when the Mets' season came to him with five losses in five games. He saw the 2006 season as a challenge because his preparation for it had been compromised by his toe problem. He knows he responds to challenges, and maybe, even creates some for himself. Motivation is where you find it.

 

"No one ever looks at me and challenges me," the right-hander said Tuesday, some bravado in his voice.

 

But Martinez knows this: "They always do their best against me. If you look it up, you'll see that. Even the rookies, they have their best days against me."

 

There was pride in his words.

 

Smoltz is not a rookie. But think of his performance, opposite Martinez, April 10 last year. He struck out 15 in seven innings. His slider was at its best.

 

"I don't think about that game more than others," Martinez said. "But I enjoyed it."

 

He and Smoltz opposed each other four times last season. Each won twice and lost twice. Martinez won their other matchup, in 1994. He was Pedro Martinez then, he wasn't Pedro yet.

 

Some other head-to-head results for Martinez:

• Martinez had a 1-0 record, and Roger Clemens an 0-0-1 record in their three Red Sox-Yankees confrontations. The Yankees won Martinez's two no-decisions.

• Martinez lost all three of his confrontations with Greg Maddux, all in 1994 and 1995. Maddux won all three.

• Martinez won four of the five starts he made against Bartolo Colon in 1998-2000, and the Red Sox won all five. Colon's record was 0-3.

 

Pitching matchup

NYM: Pedro Martinez, RHP (4-0, 3.04 ERA)

Martinez has won his first four decisions. The last time he won five straight decisions was in 2004 when he was with the Red Sox. He won six straight decisions that year.

 

ATL: John Smoltz, RHP (1-1, 4.15 ERA)

The Braves have lost three of Smoltz's four starts this season.

 

PEDRO VS. SMOLTZ:

Friday night will mark the sixth meeting between Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz. They first faced each other on July 25, 1994, and matched up four times last year (April 10, April 26, Sept. 6 and Sept. 16). Martinez is 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA, while Smoltz is 2-2 with a no-decision and a 2.91 ERA.

 

PEDRO MARTINEZ

Date Dec Score IP H R ER BB K

7/25/94 W MON 6, ATL 4 6.0 4 4 4 3 6

4/10/05 W NY 6, ATL 1 9.0 2 1 1 1 9

4/26/05 L ATL 4, NY 3 7.0 7 4 4 2 8

9/6/05 L ATL 3, NY 1 6.0 5 3 3 2 2

9/16/05 W NY 4, ATL 0 9.0 6 0 0 2 10

TOTALS: 3-2 2.92 ERA 37.0 24 12 12 10 35

JOHN SMOLTZ

Date Dec Score IP H R ER BB K

7/25/94 ND MON 6, ATL 4 6.0 5 3 3 3 2

4/10/05 L NY 6, ATL 1 7.1 8 2 2 0 15

4/26/05 W ATL 4, NY 3 6.2 7 1 1 3 4

9/6/05 W ATL 3, NY 1 7.0 7 1 1 1 2

9/16/05 L NY 4, ATL 0 7.0 7 4 4 0 5

TOTALS: 2-2 2.91 ERA 34.0 34 11 11 7 28

Player to watch

Chipper Jones' assignment to the disabled list ended Tuesday, so he can be primed for Martinez. Jones has batted merely .158 with two home runs in 38 career at-bats against the Mets' ace.

 

On the Internet

MLB.TV

Gameday Audio

• Gameday

• Official game notes

 

On television

SNY

 

On radio

WFAN 660 AM, WADO 1280 AM (Español)

 

Up next

Saturday (LHP Tom Glavine, 2-2, 2.78 ERA) at Braves (RHP John Thomson, 0-0, 1.31 ERA) 7:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: Mets (Steve Trachsel, 2-1, 3.13 ERA) at Braves (Kyle Davies, 1-2, 4.56 ERA) 1:05 p.m. ET

Monday: Washington (RHP Ramon Ortiz, 0-3, 6.75 ERA) at Mets (RHP Victor Zambrano, 1-2, 9.64 ERA) 7:10 p.m. ET

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thats ok, know what I want to see this weekend? a fucking Brave(cough cough A jones) hitting the dirt and stop diving out over the plate.

 

Come on guys more runs.

 

BTW, if KAZ Matsui can actually accomplish something as an 8th place hitter, this offense could be real good.

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keep diving out over the plate fat Andrew :TU:

 

I'm glad Wagner hit him with one of his fast balls. :flex: That'll teach him. Why does every Mets closer feel the need to load the bases before they make their pitches? Oh well, 1 down 2 to go. Good win tonight. The D. Wright returns :TU:

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