Vintage Roger Clemens sinks the Mariners

August 26, 1989 ... The greatness of Roger Clemens was recalled in the ninth inning last night, when with two out and the crowd begging for one last strikeout, Clemens pumped fastball after fastball at Jack Howell until he finally willed that it occurred, ending the game.

It has been awhile since anyone posted K cards at Fenway, but Clemens produced one of those epics that were almost commonplace through last season. He struck out 13, a season-high, walked one and threw 158 pitches in a 5-2 victory over the Angels.

The Sox scored three runs in the first inning against righthander Kirk McCaskill (14-8), who entered with the sixth-lowest ERA in the league. The Sox first four batters had hits in the inning, which could have turned when Washington, playing right field, made a bare-handed grab to prevent a ball hit by Reed from hopping into the stands for a ground-rule double.

Ellis Burks and Mike Greenwell (two RBIs) followed with consecutive run-scoring singles, however, and Nick Esasky drove in his 35th run of the month with a ground ball that was close to being a double play. Danny Heep drove in a run with a two-out single off McCaskill in the fifth. Greenwell's sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Reed, who had led off the inning with a double.

Clemens had not struck out more than 10 batters since June 16th. (He struck out 10 or more 12 times last year). He struck out Howell and Lance Parrish four times each. In the seventh, after fastball-hitting fiend Chili Davis and Brian Downing led off with singles, he struck out Parrish and Howell in succession. He had two strikes on pinch hitter Tony Armas in the same inning before Armas drove in a run with a single. But he struck out the next batter, Devon White, to end the inning.

The night started inauspiciously for Roger. Washington, the second batter, took his first pitch into the visitors' bullpen. Clemens issued his only walk in the third immediately after a freakish play that at other times this season would have resulted in a rally for the other team. Washington chopped a ball that hit in front of the plate and carried toward first base.

Esasky stood waiting, but when the ball came down, its English turned it at about a 45-degree angle past Esasky, who could only gawk. Clemens then walked Johnny Ray, but he got out of the inning by retiring Wally Joyner on a ground ball.

The Sox have won 10 of its last 11 games, and tonight they continued to play as if on something of a roll. Jody Reed, a last-minute replacement for Marty Barrett (stiff neck), had four of the team's 13 hits. The team is hitting .367 during this home stand. The pitchers have allowed three runs or fewer in nine of the last 11 games, and team ERA, 4.06, is the lowest this season.

 

F   E   N   W   A   Y     P   A   R   K

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

DETROIT TIGERS

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

2

8

1

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

3

1

0

1

0

0

0

x

 

 

5

9

0

 

 

W-Roger Clemens (13-9)
S-Lee Smith (18)
L-Frank Tanana (9-12)
Attendance - 34,643

 2B-Greenwell (2)(Bost), Barrett (Bost)

 3B-Esasky (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Wade Boggs 3b 4 0 1 .333  

 

Marty Barrett 2b 4 0 1 .270  

 

Ellis Burks cf 3 1 1 .287  

 

Mike Greenwell lf 4 2 2 .311  

 

Nick Esasky 1b 4 0 2 .270  

 

Dwight Evans dh 3 1 0 .273  

 

Kevin Romine rf 3 0 0 .271  

 

Jody Reed ss 4 1 1 .271  

 

Rick Cerone c 2 0 1 .265  

 

    IP H ER BB SO  

 

Roger Clemens 8 8 2 3 6  

 

Lee Smith 1 0 0 0 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1989 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

70 60 -

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

68 61 1 1/2

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

65 66 5 1/2

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

63

65

6

 

 

Cleveland Indians

61 68 8 1/2

 

 

New York Yankees

58 73 12 1/2

 

 

Detroit Tigers

47 84 23 1/2