Red Sox fans who fell off the bandwagon or out of their Ford Explorer can get a grip again. Roger Clemens pitched a three-hit shutout yesterday, leading the Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Clemens, who struck out 11 and walked none (for the second straight game), outdueled fellow Texas Longhorn Greg Swindell, who pitched a comparable game to Clemens’ until the sixth, when the Sox broke it open with two outs on Carlos Quintana’s two-run single to right field.
“You guys are just running out of adjectives,” said pitching coach Bill Fischer of his ace. “He’s the best pitcher ever.”
Ah, yes, this was another day for superlatives for Clemens, who every time out seems to find a new method of torturing his opponents. He’s certainly done that to Cleveland over the years; he’s 15-2 with a 1.96 ERA vs. the Indians since making his major league debut against them in 1984. He is also 68-18 after Red Sox losses. He went to three-ball counts only three times.
Now if the Red Sox can keep the highest-paid player in baseball out of prison (the grand jury in Houston is scheduled to convene in the Clemens case tomorrow), he might be on his way to surpassing feats of 1986 and last season.
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