Roger Clemens : biography
In the 1986 American League Championship Series, Clemens pitched poorly in the opening game, watched the Boston bullpen blow his 3–0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4, and then pitched a strong Game 7 to wrap up the series for Boston. The 1986 ALCS clincher was Clemens’ first postseason career victory. He did not win his second until 13 years later.
After a bad start in Game 2 of the 1986 World Series, Clemens returned to the mound for Game 6, which would have clinched the World Series for the Boston Red Sox. Clemens left the game after 7 innings leading 3–2, but the Red Sox infamously went on to lose the game in the 10th inning, and subsequently, the championship. Clemens’ departure was highly debated and remains a bone of contention among the participants. Red Sox manager John McNamara claimed Clemens took himself out due to a blister, though Clemens strongly denies that.Nocera, Joseph, , Slate.com, October 10, 2000.
Clemens most explosive postseason failure came in the second inning of the final game of the 1990 ALCS against the Oakland Athletics, when he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with umpire Terry Cooney, putting a dismal stamp on an A’s sweep. He was suspended for the first five games of the season and fined $10,000. Clemens had two other playoff no-decisions, in 1988 and 1995, both occurring while Boston was being swept. Clemens’ overall postseason record with Boston was 1–2 with a 3.88 ERA, and 45 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56 innings.
After surrendering the New York Yankees’ only loss in the 1999 playoffs in a much-hyped contest with Red Sox ace Pedro Martínez, Clemens began improving his postseason numbers. His 3–0 record in the World Series includes a performance with New York down 2–0 in the 2001 series;Buscema, Dave, , Times Herald-Record (Middletown, Orange County, New York), October 23, 2003. then, in Game 7, it was Clemens who matched Curt Schilling; his start (6 innings, 1 run, 10 strikeouts) was forgotten in the wake of the Diamondbacks’ famous ninth-inning comeback. In 2000, after losing two division series games to Oakland, Clemens pitched his most spectacular game as a Yankee in the ALCS against the Seattle Mariners: a complete game one-hit shutout with an ALCS-record 15 strikeouts. Clemens’ overall postseason record with the Yankees has been 7–4 with a 2.97 ERA, and 98 strikeouts and 35 walks in 102 innings. In the World Series Clemens became the first (and only pitcher) to pitch against the Mets in a World Series while with both the Red Sox and the Yankees, having been with the Red Sox in .
For the Astros, Clemens was the losing pitcher in game 7 of the 2004 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing 4 runs in 6 innings of work although he pitched well, he tired in the sixth inning surrendering all four runs. Clemens’ 2005 postseason was marked by highs and lows. In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, he made a dramatic emergency relief appearance, entering as a pinch-hitter (the first pinch-hitting appearance of his career), then pitching the 16th through 18th innings and collecting the series-ending win. However, during the World Series, a hamstring pull ended Clemens’ start after two innings, as his hometown team lost to the eventual World Champion Chicago White Sox, 5–3. It was Clemens’ only World Series appearance for the Astros.Associated Press, , ESPN.com, October 22, 2005 Clemens’ overall postseason record with Houston was 4–2 with a 4.60 ERA, and 29 strikeouts and 15 walks in 41 innings.
Clemens’ total postseason record is 12–8 in 34 starts, with a 3.75 ERA with a record 173 strikeouts in 199 innings pitched. Clemens’ World Series record is 3–0 in 8 starts, with an ERA of 2.37.