Roger Clemens' second career 20-strikeout game was a masterful display of dominance
For 24 seasons, Roger Clemens dominated on the mound, tallying 354 career wins and 4,672 strikeouts. That's a lot of swings and misses.
His fastball zipped around the strike zone, often overpowering hitters in a way that only a select few pitchers have ever been able to do. Speaking of things only a select few pitchers have been able to do: Clemens had two separate starts in which he racked up 20 strikeouts. As in, 40 strikeouts amassed in just two starts. That's good.
The first came on April 29, 1986, as a 23-year-old phenom for the Red Sox who completely overwhelmed the Mariners' offense at Fenway Park. His second 20-strikeout game a decade later -- on Sept. 18, 1996 at Tiger Stadium, in one of his final starts with Boston -- was an equally dazzling performance.
Sorry, Tigers, you won't be able to do much with pitches like these:
And that breaking ball, um, good luck:
Detroit's lineup that evening, which found itself on the wrong side of that masterful pitching performance:
1. Bobby Higginson LF
2. Alan Trammell 2B
3. Ruben Sierra DH
4. Tony Clark 1B
5. Travis Fryman SS
6. Melvin Nieves RF
7. Phil Nevin 3B
8. Brad Ausmus C
9. Kimera Bartee CF
1. Jeff Frye 2B
2. Nomar Garciaparra SS
3. Mo Vaughn 1B
4. Jose Canseco DH
5. John Valentin 3B
6. Mike Greenwell LF
7. Rudy Pemberton RF
8. Bill Haselman C
9. Darren Bragg: CF
In 2016, Clemens paid a visit to the NESN booth to reflect on his 20-strikeout games and some of the others in MLB history, including those carried out by Max Scherzer, Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood.
That's a pretty exclusive club and, as Clemens pointed out on the air, none of those pitchers walked anybody in those games.