Roger Clemens pitched 4.2 scoreless innings for Sugar Land Skeeters
A father and son played a game of catch Friday night in Sugar Land, Texas, but it wasn’t the typical backyard toss. For the second time in 13 days, 50-year-old Roger Clemens made a start for the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters. Koby Clemens, who is 25 and the elder Clemens’ oldest son, served as the battery mate.
Over 4.2 scoreless innings, Clemens allowed two hits while recording one strikeout and no walks against the Long Island Ducks. Clemens delivered 54 pitches, 33 of which were strikes. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Clemens was limited to 79 on the radar gun in the first inning and gradually climbed to 84 in the second and third, 86 in the fourth and 87 in the fifth.
Clemens once routinely hit the high 90s on the radar gun earlier in his career and averaged 90 with the Yankees in 2007, which was his final season in the majors.
After the game, Clemens was asked by reporters if he planned to return to Major League Baseball.
“Well, not this year. But we’ll see what happens after that,” Clemens said. “I’m not going to rule anything out. I don’t know what Koby is going to do, where he ends up. I hope to end up probably in February with the Astros, put on a uniform and help those kids. That’s probably next.”
Last month, Baseball News Source wrote about Clemens’ return to the mound. This summer, he was acquitted on charges that he lied to Congress and obstructed justice in the wake of telling Congress that he did use steroids or human growth hormone.Though he was acquitted, Clemens’ reputation is forever stained in the eyes of many media members and baseball fans.
If Clemens appears in a Major League game, that would restart his five-year waiting period for the Baseball Hall of Fame and could give him a better chance for induction. Next year, Clemens will find himself on a Hall of Fame ballot for the first time along with Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa among others.
Clemens won another AL Cy Young with the Yankees in 2001 (20-3, 3.51 ERA) and a National League Cy Young Award for Houston in 2004 when he recorded an 18-4 record and a 2.98 ERA at the age of 41.
At the age of 44 in 2007, Clemens made a widely covered return to the Yankees and finished 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA.
What if Astros owner Jim Crane asked Clemens to make a start for his team in September?
“I’d listen to him, but I’d have to do some work again,” Clemens said. “I just don’t think I’m close to pitching in a major league game.”