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NL DIVISION SERIES NOTES

Pedro Martinez gets Game 3 start for Phillies

It will be the veteran's first postseason start since he won Game 3 for Boston in the 2004 World Series.

October 10, 2009|Associated Press

Pedro Martinez is getting the ball and the call in another big game.

Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel chose the aging right-hander over J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton, who made cameo appearances out of the bullpen Thursday, to face the Colorado Rockies in Game 3 of their NL playoff series tonight -- weather permitting.

The best-of-five series is tied at one game each.

It will be Martinez's first postseason start since he won Game 3 for Boston in the 2004 World Series.

"Well, every game is really special, but this one makes me look really smart," Martinez cracked. "Because I chose this team after waiting a long time. I gave away opportunities to make a lot more money."

Hoping to draw interest in March, the 37-year-old free agent pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic and surprised some with his increased velocity. But Martinez turned down several offers in the spring because he wanted to re-sign with the Mets.

They shunned him, however, after four injury-filled seasons in New York, where the effervescent Dominican won 32 games while playing out a $53-million contract.

So, Martinez sat out most of the season before signing with the Phillies late in the summer. He was 5-1 with a 3.63 earned-run average in nine starts.

Martinez is 6-2 with a 3.40 ERA in the postseason, and Manuel said he likes his history in cold weather too. The forecast for Game 3 calls for a temperature dipping into the 20s.

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