|Clemens goes for 350th win Thursday|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2007 13:42|
Then again, so does a third World Series ring.
The New York Yankees right-hander will take the mound at Colorado Thursday looking to become the first major league pitcher to win 350 games since Warren Spahn did it in 1963.
``Everything's a blessing for me since I tipped my cap three or four years ago, whenever it was, and I was real comfortable with (possible retirement),'' Clemens said. ``Since then, I'm glad I left that percentage point open and I've been very blessed. A lot of neat things have come my way since.''
One thing that hasn't: another World Series title to go with the two he won in his first stint with the Yankees.
It's the pursuit of that ring that's really fueling the Rocket.
``It's been seven long years and there's still guys here that don't have a ring,'' Clemens said. ``They've made a lot of money but they don't have a ring. And I want them to have that feeling and to understand what it's like when you talk about really being a Yankee ... that's the most important thing.''
Clemens (1-1), who won World Series titles in 1999 and 2000, will make his third start for the Yankees when he faces Rodrigo Lopez (3-0) at Coors Field. He took the loss when the Yankees fell 2-0 Friday night against the New York Mets.
This is will be Clemens' fourth career start at Coors Field, where he is 1-0 with a 3.78 ERA. The only other time he faced the Rockies in pinstripes was on June 20, 2002, when he recorded a no-decision in a 14-11 loss, a game in which he allowed just two runs and five hits over four innings.
Clemens, who last pitched in Colorado on June 28, 2005, while with the Houston Astros, said he won't change his routine for the hitter-friendly park that has seen a drastic drop in long balls since the humidor took full effect in recent years.
``I just saw (Rockies right-hander) Jason Hirsh, one of our young guys that we had in Houston, and he seems to be doing just fine,'' said Clemens, who also sought out former Astros center fielder Willy Taveras to ask him about the humidor.
Clemens, who missed his first scheduled start because of a fatigued right groin, said he came out of his last start just fine.
``I'm going to try to improve on really everything I'm doing,'' he said. ``My work in between is as important to how I'm going to continue to stay strong through September and October.''
Spahn won his 350th game on Sept. 29, 1963, in a 2-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at old Milwaukee County Stadium.
``Considering Spahn didn't get his first one until he was 25, that was pretty incredible,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ``He was a freak of nature, playing into his 40s. Guys normally, when they were 36, 37, 38, they were done.''
Clemens turns 45 in August.
Derek Jeter said it's hard to even fathom a pitcher winning 350 games.
``It's longevity and consistency,'' Jeter said. ``I don't think you'll see anyone else get to that number.''