THE SUMMER OF "MORGAN'S
no-no extends the Sox lead
10, 1988 ... Roger Clemens tossed a one-hit,
86-pitch, 6-0 dispatch of the Indians. The hit was a chinker to
right-center by Dave Clark with one away in the eighth. The Cleveland
right fielder was the only man to reach base for the Tribe, having
previously drawn a two-out walk in the fifth.
There were four line drives and one warning track fly to
deep center by Carmen Castillo leading off the eighth. Aside from that, Clemens
was, as usual, the master of the Cleveland Indians. This wasn't any K festival.
This was a pitching demonstration, something a vintage Catfish Hunter could
identify with. Clemens fanned just five, and he said he wasn't trying to strike
Cerone made the kind of clutch defensive play which so very
often preserves those gems, Clemens thought he was going to get it. The play had
come with one out in the seventh. The ever-dangerous Carter had spun one off
home plate. The ball rolled up the third base line. The crowd of 34,099 knew it
was going to be a tough play. But nobody was more acutely aware of the situation
than Cerone, who ripped off his mask, bolted from the box like an entrant in the
Wonderland Derby, chased down the ball, picked it up and threw a bullet to get
Carter by half a step.
But a no-hitter is nothing if not circumstantial. Earlier
in the game, for example, the Indians had hit three consecutive line-drive outs.
And so, five outs away from his first no-hitter, Clemens stared down at Clark, a
player who has split his season between Cleveland and Colorado Springs. Clark
dumped the Rocket's first pitch over Marty Barrett's head into short
right-center, ending the no-hit bid.
Clemens got all the support he needed when Jody Reed
singled home Jim Rice (single, Bud Black balk) from second in the second inning.
A Dwight Evans double, Ellis Burks single and Larry Parrish two-out RBI single
made it 2-0 an inning later, and Black (4-4) was eventually removed after four
frames as the Red Sox scored twice more, the key hit being an Evans single which
produced one run directly, and another indirectly when left fielder Mel Hall
misplayed the ball.
The sizzling Dewey went 4 for 4 with a walk, hiking his
average to .307. His last 11 plate appearances have resulted in seven hits and
four walks. Another batting star was Reed, whose three hits brought him to the
doorstep of .300.
But this day belonged to Clemens. As every Red Sox fan
knows, he had gone 42 days and six fruitless starts since his last victory, a
3-2 conquest of Milwaukee July 30. He's had physical problems (back, shoulder)
and he's had just plain misfortune (like a 1-0 loss to Oakland). But he's Roger
Clemens, and he has battled through.
The victory raised his career mark against Cleveland to 9-0
and helped stretch the Red Sox' AL East lead to 3 1/2 games over the Tigers.