Hondo S. Carpenter

Rocket defeated!

By Justin Mangan


Last night Roger Clemens visited Detroit as he faced off against Nate Robertson and the Tigers. A game that has been highlighted all season long for Tigers fans in hope that the Rocket would return. And all the hype didn’t disappoint. But what was most surprising was Robertson’s effectiveness as he traded outs with the rocket through six innings. The first five innings of play were scoreless as the game was soon half over. While Robertson escaped a seventh inning jam that began with no outs and a runner on third, the Rocket was unsuccessful. With Craig Monroe’s double and two Astro errors the scoreless tie was no longer while giving the Tigers their 11th victory in their last 2 games. And the Rocket was done. Clemens line finished by going 6 and a third inning, while giving up three hits and only one run. But that was too much for the Tigers. The Tigers ending up beating the Astro’s 4-0 by the time nine innings were played.


“I see these guys grinding it out,” Clemens said of the Tigers. “When you’re on a roll and you can make things happen, that’s how you win ballgames like that. We’ve experienced that over the last couple years where everything just flows in the right way.”


Detroit manager Jim Leyland made it clear he doesn’t care about any of the hype surrounding Clemens and his return, but did make it clear he praised the 7-time Cy Young Award winner. “Roger is one of the greatest of all time, and the best thing about him is how he competes,” Leyland said. “H competes as hard as anyone who has ever pitched.”


Tuesday night at Comerica Park experienced a sold out crowd, and one of the loudest yet. Whenever the Rocket took the mounds everyone was in their seats watching each pitch thrown. The areas of standing room only were at times back several deep, as everyone wanted to see the Rocket pitch. Even more was the greeting and standing ovation that the Rocket was given as he came off the field in the seventh. But the Rocket left the field in anger from a previous pitch that was called a strike. However, Clemens did say he wasn’t happy with Phil Gardner’s decision to take him out of the game. Once again the Tigers battled a proven pitcher and defeated him. Several years back this would have been the highlight of the Tiger’s season, but with the Tigers playing the way they are, it was win number 53. And that’s 28 games over the .500 mark.


Tonight game is also another marquee match-up between the Astro’s and Tiger’s. The Astro’s will send Andy Pettite to the mound, as the Tigers will face Justin Verlander. Verlander will be seeking his 10th win of the season. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 1:05 p.m.


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