He says he's back, but the real Pedro Martinez doesn't think about pitching half a game, answer to a pitch count or look for good news in a loss.
What the Cleveland Indians saw in their 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday was just a sample of the pitcher that dominated the AL in the first half, then dominated the NL's best to win the All-Star Game MVP.
"It feels a little weird, because usually I'm the one that's allowed to go a little longer. But today was an exception," Martinez said after returning from his first trip to the disabled list with a no-decision. "Hopefully next time I'll be out there for longer."
Jim Thome's second home run tied the score, and Omar Vizquel singled in the winner in the ninth to give the Indians their seventh win in eight games and spoil Martinez's return from a shoulder injury.
Martinez went five innings before reaching his pitch count at 78. Seeking his 100th career win, he left with a two-run lead before Tim Wakefield blew his second save.
Thome homered off Martinez in the second, then added a two-run shot off Wakefield in the eighth to tie the score at 4. In the ninth, Wakefield walked two before Vizquel singled in David Justice.
"Any time you can get a hit off Pedro, let alone a home run, it's kind of nice," Thome said. "Pedro's Pedro. He's always going to put his team in a position to win. I know he was on the disabled list, but he still had great stuff."
But not the stamina that distinguished him before he went on the DL on July 19. He has three of Boston's four complete games, and only twice in his previous nine outings did he fail to go eight innings.
Martinez was 15-3 with a 2.10 ERA in the first half and started the All-Star Game, striking out the first four batters and five of six.
But in his first start after that he had the worst outing of his career: nine runs, seven earned, and 12 hits in 3 innings. After that, it was announced he would miss a start for the first time in his career.
"I went seven years without missing a start," he said. "Hopefully it will be another seven before I miss another one."