A look at all 20 punchouts in Roger Clemens' 20-strikeout game against Seattle in 1986.
There is a secret haven of MLB gems hidden in iTunes right now. Under the heading "Baseball's Best", you can find over 150 games ranging from the 1952 World Series to Mark Buehrle's perfect game in 2009. The games feature no-hitters, record-breakers, classic postseason battles and more. Best of all, these games are available in their full, original broadcasts (including everything but the commercials) for only $1.99. Today we look at one of these gems: the Seattle at Boston matchup on April 29, 1986, when Roger Clemens set the major-league record for strikeouts in a game.
Heading into this Tuesday night game in front of 13,414 fans, the Mariners are 7-12 and batting .207 on the season. They have also not had two consecutive hits in 64 innings. The lineup looks like this:
Regardless of whether the Rocket was clean, his mechanics were a beautiful sight to behold.
In a Hall of Fame class that was chock full of controversy because of chemical enhancements—both proven and suspected—that helped to obfuscate baseball's sacred record book,Roger Clemens stood out as a potentially-tainted hurler in a sea of power bats. His performance record is one of the greatest of all time, with a major-league-record seven Cy Young awards spread over a 24-year career, but the PED cloud that hangs over the Rocket is blocking his ascension to baseball's highest plane. Much like batting doppelganger Barry Bonds, Clemens experienced a tremendous spike in performance at an age when most players are planning their retirement, raising suspicion as to the legitimacy of his numbers.
Clemens was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the 19th pick of the first round in the 1983 draft, selected out of the University of Texas after having spent some time at the baseball factory of San Jacinto Community College. His minor-league numbers were unfair: an ERA of 1.47 in 208.7 total innings across three levels, with 240 strikeouts against just 38 free passes for a K-to-walk ratio better than six to one, and just five homers allowed. Less than a year after signing with Boston, the right-hander was pitching in the Show.
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Jason goes looking for Hall of Famers and finds none.
The first thing I'd like to do is thank the BBWAA for admitting me to its ranks even though I'm merely a part-time blogger and weekly contributor to a website that has, in the past, had as an implicit mission statement the Association's destruction.
The second thing I'd like to do is thank the BBWAA for waiving its usual 10-year rule whereby one does not acquire a Hall of Fame vote until one has been a member of the Association for a decade. Really, you're too kind.
If Roger Clemens isn't ruling anything out, then Matthew isn't ruling anything out.
Last season I played adult league baseball. I played decently well, got some hits, played a solid second base and pitched acceptably on occasion, but when I think back on the experience I’m struck by one thing: the pain. Playing two games a weekend meant spending the rest of the week in some level of discomfort. Whether it was throwing 20 pitches out of the bullpen and not being able to raise my arm above my shoulder for several days, or the general soreness that comes from throwing one’s body to the ground as a baseball rolls past, or the many welts from taking a fastball to the kidney, fielding a ground ball with your nipples (don’t try this at home, kids), or getting run over at second base, baseball is a painful endeavor. We -- well I -- don’t tend to think of it that way. Most of the time the players are standing around, or jogging from one spot to the next. But if my ridiculously minimal experience is any indicator, pain is a constant part of playing professional baseball.
That’s one reason why I want to see Roger Clemens pitch next season. In case you missed it, Clemens told the Houston Chronicle he wasn’t ruling out pitching in the majors next season. Which, for a normal person, is like saying, I’m not ruling out going to the moon in the next nine minutes. Sure, you’re not ruling it out, but it’s not going to happen either.
What we wrote the last time Roger Clemens came back.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Roger Clemens may be considering coming back to the majors. It wouldn't be the first time. Joe Sheehan responded to Clemens' decision to rejoin the Yankees five seasons ago in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "Prospectus Today" column on May 7th, 2007.
A look at 10 new managerial candidates, and a conversation with Mets manager Terry Collins.
The All-Star break is coming into view, yet no managers have been fired this season. In fact, there have been only a few reports of any of the 30 major-league skippers even possibly being in trouble. But it will eventually happen. Some owner will finally get fed up, drop the axe, and his club will begin a managerial search.
Just when Matt thinks he's out, a new prospect pulls him back in.
We all love prospects. Not in a sexy way, though Jose Iglesias does have a certain magnetism about him. No, it’s their promise we love, the possibility that each player in the top 11 could become great, thereby helping propel my favorite team (not yours) to the World Series. Prospects are lottery tickets in the common parlance of the term, a role of the dice as to whether they’ll ever figure out the game enough that they can contribute at the major league level. But they’re also lottery tickets in promise. Each represents what could be, what we hope will be, and while most don’t reach the upper reaches of their ceiling, the height, the potential of that ceiling makes them baseball’s ultimate exercise in optimism.
Michael Pineda's labrum tear doesn't bode well for his future, but it's not the death sentence it used to be.
On Wednesday, the Yankees revealed that Michael Pineda had suffered a torn labrum, a devastating turn of events both for the 23-year-old righty and for the team that acquired him from the Mariners for top prospect Jesus Montero back in January. Pineda will miss the entire season and part of 2013, thinning the Yankees' surplus of starting pitching—and underscoring the fact that you can never have too much—while raising the question of whether they will ever get much value out of him.
Andy Pettitte's decision to return to baseball was unexpected, but there's nothing surprising about a major leaguer's desire to continue playing.
Andy Pettitte called it an unfinished career this past week, returning to the Yankees on a minor-league contract after missing one season in self-enforced retirement. While Pettitte didn’t perfect unretirement—that’s Brett Favre—he is the most recent player to retire and then think better of it after the fact. He is also far from the first to do so.
You don’t have to go back very far into the pages of baseball history to find other examples. Barely opening the book is enough. This very offseason, Manny Ramirez decided that, at age 40, if he could get that pesky 100-game PED suspension knocked down by 50 games, he’d take a minor-league deal from the going-nowhere A’s. Oakland GM Billy Beanesaid of the Ramirez deal, “There's little to no commitment. It would be foolish not to [sign him]." Manny has made over $200 million in his career, but he’s willing to endure a 50-game suspension and take a minor-league deal with a losing club to come out of retirement.