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My dad and I were watching the start of the Yankees-Indians game. Roger Clemens was the starter and he was scuffling. I said to my dad. “Roger’s gonna fake an injury.”
He was surprised at my projection, but I went on. Any time he stuggles, he taps out early. He goes out like a chump.
The next inning? Phillip Hughes takes the mound.
Don’t believe me? Look back at some of his “Greatest” playoff hits.
1990 ALCS Game Four. Clemens, already allowing a run in the second inning, allows two more base runners. The second on a walk. With Mike Gallego at the plate, Roger starts swearing at the home plate umpire. He gets ejected (supposedly in a trancelike state). The inherited runners score. Boston gets swept.
1999 ALCS Game Two. Boston fans don’t know that General Manager Dan Duquette thought him finished. So when he comes back, he gets the Darryl Strawberry treatment. He gives up five in the first. Lasts 2 and 1/3 innings claiming a bad back. The Yankees lose their only postseason game 13-1.
Let’s not forget Game Two of the 2000 World Series and throwing the bat at Piazza. That was classy steroid-induced behavior there.
2001 ALDS Game One. After he’s given up two solo shots, he starts to twitch in the fifth. He pulls his hamstring. Yankees lose 5-3.
2003 ALCS Game Seven. Roger Clemens, already given up 4 runs, pulls his hamstring after a home run, a walk and a base hit. Mike Mussina comes up spectacular and the Yankees come back to win in a game that Bill Simmons called “Total Fucking Bullshit!”
2005 World Series Game One. Clemens gives up three runs on four hits in two innings. After walking to the dugout under his own power, he starts to limp like an “injured” soccer star when he reaches the dugout steps.
Tonight. 2007 ALDS Game Three. Giving up two runs on four hits in two innings, but he manages to make it out for inning #3. After getting Victor Martinez to strike out, Clemens finds himself pulling up lame. Phillip Hughes comes in to pitch. After allowing an RBI Double to Johnny Peralta. Hughes is giving a yeoman relief effort as I type. Add that to Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon coming up clutch, and this effort will be forgotten by many.
And if you add to this the fact that Roger Clemens has blown eight playoff leads. You have to put any talk of Roger Clemens being one of the greatest starters of all time out of your mind.
He’s an Alex Rodriguez type at best.