Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Here's what happened when Pedro faced Biggio, and other new HOFer matchups

Pedro vs. Biggio and the other new HOFer matchups

The Baseball Hall of Fame announced its newest class on Tuesday, adding four new names to the pantheon of greats. 

And while Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio obviously dominated most of the competition, how did they do when squaring off against each other? Today we look at what happened when two giants locked horns and the ground shook. 

Craig Biggio

Vs. John Smoltz: 116 PA, .260/.322/.346, 2 HR, 7 RBI

Biggio faced only one pitcher more often than Smoltz, and that would be 2014 Hall of Fame inductee, Greg Maddux. (As for third most? None other than Tom Glavine.)

And sure, his .668 OPS is nearly 130 points lower than his career average, but it's still better than the .653 OPS that an average batter had against Smoltzie. Another point in Biggio's favor: his two home runs were both game-tying shots in games that the Astros would go on to win. 

But Smoltz would have his revenge in the postseason. In October battles, Biggio was 1-for-13 with three strikeouts. 

Vs. Pedro Martinez: 50 PA, .302/.400/.488, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Biggio had a bit more success against Martinez. Among batters with at least 50 plate appearances against Pedro, only three hitters (Luis Gonzalez, Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado) had better batting lines against the Hall of Famer. 

Biggio was at his best in 1995. That year, the Killer B went 5-for-10 with 4 doubles and two walks. 

Vs. Randy Johnson: 16 PA, .000/.125/.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Against his onetime teammate, Biggio struggled immensely. Perhaps Johnson had hypnotized Biggio during their half-season together in 1998 so that every time the two squared off, Biggio forgot how to hit. Or maybe it's just a small sample size. 

Yeah, it was probably the hypnotism. 


Randy Johnson vs. John Smoltz

Shockingly -- especially considering the length of their careers -- Johnson never played against Martinez and only faced Smoltz once. And even then, the two weren't in the game at the same time.

In Game 1 of the 2001 NLCS, Smoltz closed out the game with two shutout innings. Unfortunately for him, Johnson had gone seven frames while allowing two runs and striking out eight in an eventual D-backs victory. 

Pedro Martinez vs. John Smoltz


While the two didn't get to face Johnson much, Smoltz and Martinez had plenty of opportunities to best each other.

The first came during Martinez's rookie season when, on April 11, 1993, Martinez came in to relieve for his brother Ramon with the Dodgers trailing 1-0. While Pedro surrendered 2 runs in 1 2/3 innings of work, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Smoltz pitched eight shutout innings allowing only four hits. 

The two would then square off 10 more times -- although three of those meetings came with Martinez trotting in from the bullpen and one was with Smoltz entering as the Braves' closer.  

When the two did start, the games were often classics, though none was better than an April 10, 2005, contest. With the Braves taking on the Mets, Smoltz pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out 15.  

Unfortunately, that wasn't enough because Martinez pitched a complete game, striking out nine and allowing only one run in the victory.

If Smoltz lost that day though, he has the edge in the war. The Braves hurler was 5-4 with one save and a 2.17 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings, barely edging out Martinez. The Jheri-curled legend was 5-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 57 2/3 IP.  

Smoltz takes the prize at the plate, too. While Martinez was 0-for-13 with six strikeouts when facing the Braves starter, Smoltz went 2-for-13. He should feel pretty good about those two hits, too.

There were 55 other batters who faced Martinez 13 times or more and recorded two or fewer hits. The list includes Frank Thomas (2-for-24), Ken Griffey Jr. (1-for-15) and, at the top of the list, Pat Burrell with a frightening 1-for-26. 


Now we can only hope that the Hall of Fame will host home run derby between everyone before the induction ceremony. You know, to truly settle this debate.