|Clemens makes first regular-season relief appearance since 1984|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 24 June 2007 13:16|
Clemens, who lost to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday and missed a chance for his 350th win, walked Barry Bonds and yielded Nate Schierholtz's sacrifice fly in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants.
The 44-year-old Clemens made his only other regular-season relief appearance in his 13th career game, when he allowed two hits over two innings in Oakland on July 18, 1984.
Of course, he came out of the bullpen to earn the win for Houston in an 18-inning playoff game against Atlanta in 2005, the longest postseason game in major league history. That victory sent his hometown Astros into the NL championship series.
Clemens volunteered to fill in for the Yankees' weary bullpen after Saturday's 13-inning loss to the Giants. Sunday was his scheduled day for mound work anyway, and manager Joe Torre hoped to get 30 pitches out of the right-hander.
Clemens struck out Ray Durham to open the seventh, but walked Bonds on five pitches before Ryan Klesko's single. Schierholtz then hit a long drive to center, and Bonds scored easily.
Clemens ended the longest stretch between regular-season relief appearances in major league history at 22 years, 341 days, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Steve Carlton went 15 years, 343 days between relief appearances in 1971 and 1987.