World Series Buried Lead: Can We Have Vintage Pedro Back For One Night Only?

Tonight's Game 6 match-up is being branded as a barn-burner already.  The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte (28-22 over the last two years) to the mound in search of a title clinching win.  The Phillies will counter with Pedro Martinez, the Phightins' No. 3 starter and  he who has the most wins in playoff history, to the mound in search of one more win and one more World Series title. 

If allowed to go into an actual time machine, I would probably screw up that entire space-time continuum beyond repair.  I would invest a significant amount of money in something called The Facebook, warn Jim Hendry about why it would be a terrible idea to sign Milton Bradley to a three-year, $30 million deal and get on board and attach my bandwagon to Gawker Media and Deadspin.
I would also bring back a gift for baseball fans everywhere.

We'll start with classic Pedro -- the greatest pitcher to survive the Steroid Era.

Martinez's numbers from 1998 to 2003 are as follows:
  • 101 wins, 28 losses -- all while losing no more than seven games in a season.
  • 21 complete games, 7 shutouts
  • He allowed 77 home runs in 1,164 innings of work
  • 0.941 WHIP
  • 2.26 ERA
  • 1,456 strikeouts (only 248 walks)
  • 2 Cy Young Awards
He did it all while playing in the American League, against the potent line-ups of the AL East in the heart of an era in which it seemed as if every power hitter was juiced beyond belief.

Andy Pettitte hasn't been a great pitcher since 2005.  I can't count the number of things that have changed since then on my fingers, toes and other appendages combined.  Since 2005, Milton Bradley has been on five different baseball teams.  Dusty Baker has sent three arms into surgery for two different teams.  And Roger Clemens has been an Astro, a Yankee and a liar free agent.

In 2005, Pettitte went 17-9 with a 2.39 earned run average in his second season in the National League.  Since then, he has gone 57-44 (.564 winning percentage) ... and that's coming off a 135-65 (.675 winning percentage) start to his career with the Yankees. It's a subtle decline -- one probably aided by ... you know ... not having HGH around.

And no, it's not the HGH David Wells is thinking of.  Contrary to whatever Wells tells you, taking his HGH (Ham-Gravy-Ham) diet will not make you a better ball player.

So while everyone will remind you that this will be an ol' time pitchin' duel ... don't be surprised if it isn't.