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Hamstring Has Clemens Day-to-Day

Baseball: Injury is called a strain. He will try to make next start Sunday.

April 29, 1999|From Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Roger Clemens thinks there are more important things to worry about than breaking records. One such thing is his left hamstring.

An examination Wednesday determined that Clemens' hamstring is strained. He first hurt it while jogging on a cold morning April 11, but it wasn't a problem until Clemens aggravated it in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

Clemens, who has never had a hamstring problem, said he hopes to make his next scheduled start Sunday at Kansas City, but he's not sure whether he'll be able to pitch.

Clemens was listed as day-to-day. He'll be re-evaluated daily.

"There's something going on," Clemens said as he prepared for ice treatments. "I've never been this tight. . . . If it feels good, I'll give it a shot. I'm pretty sure I didn't tear it, so that's good."

Clemens said the leg didn't hurt while Texas scored five runs in the first inning. He said the pain came after running to first base while recording the second out of the second inning.

He didn't return for the third, leaving with the Yankees down 5-0.

New York rallied to win 7-6, capping the comeback with two runs in the ninth off closer John Wetteland. Clemens wound up with a no-decision, preserving his AL record-tying streak of 17 consecutive winning decisions.

Clemens wore a protective sleeve on his left thigh while warming up in the bullpen Tuesday. He took it off before the game because it ended up around his ankle.

Clemens refused to blame the injury for a rocky outing in which he allowed five runs on four hits and two walks with no strikeouts. His ERA shot to 5.47.

"I landed a couple of times gingerly . . . but it didn't affect me. I could deal with it," Clemens said. "Once I got to first base, I knew I had taken it a little further."

All of the runs came in the first seven batters. Clemens retired the next five, but he went to full counts on three of them.

The second-to-last out was the menace: a grounder by Mark McLemore that first baseman Tino Martinez stopped and threw to Clemens for the out.

As the Yankees batted in the third, Clemens realized it was time to call it a night.

"I wanted to go out and continue, but I think I probably would have made it worse," said Clemens, who had bought tickets for 50 family and friends to watch his first attempt at the streak record. "It was in my best interest not to return."

Clemens hung around and cheered the comeback. He said he wasn't even thinking about the fact the victory preserved his shot at history.

"I was saying, 'Way to go, guys, great win,' " said Clemens, who hasn't lost since last May 29. "I really don't even worry about the streak. There's more things to worry about."

This was the second time in three starts Clemens was hit hard. On April 15, Baltimore took a 4-0 lead and was ahead 7-6 when Clemens left after three innings. New York bailed him out then by winning 9-7.

Clemens also had a rocky first inning last Thursday against the Rangers, but he ended up giving up only two runs in seven innings. He closed that outing by retiring the last 14 batters.

That victory tied the AL record for consecutive winning decisions set by Cleveland's Johnny Allen in 1936-37 and matched by Baltimore's Dave McNally in 1968-69. The major league record is 24 by Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants from 1936-37.

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