Clemens vs. Sox: Pennant on line
Martinez not nervous about Game 7
NEW YORK -- It seems only fitting that Roger Clemens finds himself pitching against Boston
to extend his career for one more week.
The Rocket, whose bittersweet relationship with Red Sox Nation has been well documented
since his departure from New England nearly seven years ago, will try to put yet another
dagger through his former team's heart Thursday night when he takes the mound for Game 7
of the American League Championship Series.
Clemens will once again butt heads with Pedro Martinez, whom he outdueled Saturday in
Game 3 at Fenway Park, a scrum-filled affair that was won by New York, thus adding yet
another colorful chapter to the nearly century-old rivalry. Only this time, the game will be at
Yankee Stadium with Martinez facing the wrath of an angry crowd.
The Rocket wasn't addressing the media Wednesday after New York's Game 6 loss, relaying a
simple message through the media relations department.
"I'll be here tomorrow," said Clemens, who will be confronted with his baseball mortality yet
The fact that the Yanks and Red Sox came to loggerheads the last time Martinez and Clemens
pitched only adds to the drama of this one. Martinez, who will be making his fourth start of
the postseason, is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in seven career playoff starts.
The Yanks are hoping that they will get the same Clemens they saw on the mound Saturday
at Fenway Park. He was calm, composed and never lost his focus as the game seemed to
deteriorate around him.
"You know, going into that game, [pitching coach] Mel [Stottlemyre] and I both felt Roger's
temperament was perfect for it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He has been so good. I
think, since his 300th victory, he has been, I don't know, he just seems to be very comfortable
with what he's doing. His stuff has been very consistent.
"That game the other day, he did get revved up and certainly stayed within himself and
hopefully it's the same tomorrow," Torre continued. "Let's admit it, this is it. You really have to
do a good job of talking yourself into making yourself believe it's just another baseball game.
You don't leave anything in the bag tomorrow. You have two great pitchers. Roger I'm sure is
up for the task and I'm sure Pedro is, too."
The Rocket is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA thus far in the playoffs. He is 8-6 with a 3.34 ERA in 23
career postseason starts. Eight of those starts have come in the LCS or the World Series for the
Yankees. It's a stage on which he excels. Clemens is riding a five-game winning streak in those
games, and is 5-1 while posting a 1.76 ERA during the LCS and World Series for the Bombers.
New York catcher Jorge Posada said he didn't have to do much Saturday with Clemens, just
sit back and watch him pitch. He admits that he won't talk much to Clemens when he's on the
mound, letting The Rocket police himself.
"Sure I want Roger to be strong," Posada said. "I'm sure he'll be pumped up and not saying
too much. We'll just see what he's doing out there and go with the plan."
Andy Pettitte, a close friend of Clemens, wasn't able to close the Red Sox out in Game 6. But
he has faith that Clemens will get the job done in the finale.
"Roger's been there before," Pettitte said. "I really expect him to throw a great game."
If The Rocket wants to keep firing for another week, he's going to have to.
Kevin Czerwinski is a reporter
for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its