Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Pedro Martinez on Grady Little’s role in 2003 ALCS loss: ‘I still believe it wasn’t his fault’

Lucy Burdge
October 10, 2018 - 9:31 am

Pedro Martinez opened some old wounds on Tuesday night on TBS when he recalled being on the mound in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees.

“Everything just piled up on top of us,” Martinez said, as footage played of Aaron Boone hitting his infamous home run. “I wanted to win. Grady (Little) wanted to find a way to win but he couldn’t really trust what he had in the bullpen … He just told me to get one more batter (at the end of the 7th inning).”

Martinez said he never told anyone that because he “wanted to be protective of Grady.”

“Because he deserved it,” Martinez explained. “He was a good manager, good person to play for.”

On the mound meeting with Little, Martinez said Little asked “if I had enough bullets to get Matsui.”

“I was a wounded warrior but I wanted to continue to fight,” he said of staying in the game.

Does he now think that was a mistake?

“No, it wasn’t a mistake,” Martinez said. “I think I could have gotten Matsui out.”

“Grady did not deserve to be out of baseball,” he said. Though Little was fired after that fateful night, Martinez tried to protect Little and make sure he did not get blame, saying now, “I still believe it wasn’t his fault.”