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Strained hamstring sidelines Rocket

Strained hamstring sidelines Rocket

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CHICAGO -- Roger Clemens left Game 1 of the World Series after two innings due to a strained left hamstring, making Saturday's start the shortest World Series start of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's career.

The question is: Was it the final start of The Rocket's career?

"Roger's left hamstring is slightly strained," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He's the proverbial day-to-day. We'll have to see how he is as we go along."

Clemens was injured during the second inning making a pitch to White Sox center fielder Aaron Rowand.

"He called me out and told me in the second inning," Astros catcher Brad Ausmus said. "[Right after] the pitch that they ran a hit-and-run on, a bouncer through the right side of the infield. He did pitch the rest of the second inning. I think at that point it tightened up a little more."

Clemens threw 54 pitches, including 35 for strikes, but was noticeably limping when he left the field following the inning. He has been bothered by hamstring problems in both legs previously this season.

"I think it affected more the finish on the pitch more than anything because you can't drive off the leg," Ausmus said.

Clemens underwent treatment during and after the game and his status for the remainder of the series is unknown. He left the ballpark after making a brief statement to the media.

"I had the problem in the second inning, and fought my way through that inning, got through that inning," Clemens said. "I came up here [to the clubhouse] as quick as I could to take my sleeve off and have them check it, and see if there was anything I could do so I could continue. And the fluid already started to build up in my leg. So they gave me some medication and I'm going to treat it, and that's all I can tell you from there."


Roger Clemens' World Series starts
Roger Clemens' strained left hamstring forced his exit after two innings in Game 1 of the 2005 World Series, resulting in the shortest World Series start of his career.
Season
Team
Game
Opp.
IP
H
R
ER
BB
SO
HR
Result
1986
BOS
2
NYM
4.1
5
3
3
4
3
0
ND
1986
BOS
6
NYM
7
4
2
1
2
8
0
ND
1999
NYY
4
ATL
7.2
4
1
1
2
4
0
W
2000
NYY
2
NYM
8
2
0
0
0
9
0
W
2001
NYY
3
ARI
7
3
1
1
3
9
0
W
2001
NYY
7
ARI
6.1
7
1
1
1
10
0
ND
2003
NYY
4
FLA
7
8
3
3
0
5
1
ND
2005
HOU
1
CWS
2
4
3
3
0
1
1
ND

 

The 43-year-old Clemens, who became the oldest pitcher ever to start Game 1 of the World Series when he took the mound at U.S. Cellular Field, struggled with his control from the first.

He gave up a home run to Jermaine Dye in the first inning and gave up two runs on three hits as the White Sox built a 3-1 lead in the second.

"You could tell when his pitch count started getting up there in the second inning that Roger wasn't himself," Astros reliever Chad Qualls said.

For Clemens, 13-8 with a Major League-leading 1.87 ERA, the start was by far his shortest in eight World Series appearances. The right-hander allowed three runs on four hits while striking out one. He did not walk a batter.

The last time a starting pitcher did not get past the second inning in a World Series game was Oct. 23, 2003, in Game 5 between the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins. That time it was New York lefty David Wells. The man who relieved him was, ironically, Jose Contreras.

It was Contreras who recorded the win Saturday night for the White Sox.

Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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