No hype needed
Red Sox rock Clemens on the way to ALCS-record 21 hits
Posted: Sunday October 17, 1999 12:31 AM
One of Nomar Garciaparra's four hits on the night was a two-run home run in the seventh inning. AP
BOSTON (AP) -- Pedro Martinez and the Boston Red Sox turned the most anticipated pitching matchup ever at Fenway Park into a historic trashing of the New York Yankees.
Martinez dominated for seven shutout innings while the Red Sox roughed up Roger Clemens in sending the Yankees to their most lopsided loss in postseason history, 13-1 Saturday in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series.
"You never let up against the Yankees," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said.
Beaten in two tense, one-run decisions at Yankee Stadium, Boston returned home to a delirious crowd and cut New York's edge in the best-of-7 series to 2-1.
"I had no doubt we would shift and have a carryover coming back here," Martinez said.
"I didn't feel well at all coming out of the bullpen," he said. "I just hoped for my team to protect me."
The Red Sox ended their 10-game ALCS losing streak and their fans reveled, chanting "Where is Roger?" New York had its postseason winning streak stopped at 12, tying its own record set by the Murderers' Row teams of 1927, 1928 and 1932.
Game 4 will be Sunday night with Bret Saberhagen starting against New York's Andy Pettitte.
Martinez set a Red Sox postseason record by striking out 12 and allowed just two singles. Baseball's top pitcher in 1999, he nearly reprised his effort at New York on Sept. 10 when he struck out a record 17 Yankees in a one-hitter.
"He's an artist out there," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He has a baseball instead of a paint brush."
Rather than "Cy Old vs. Cy Young" -- as the bumper stickers billed it -- the only duel that developed was between the Boston batters, seeing which one could connect the best against Clemens and the Yankees.
The Red Sox finished with an ALCS-record 21 hits, 10 for extra bases. John Valentin homered and drove in five runs, and Nomar Garciaparra and Brian Daubach also homered.
Garciaparra went 4-for-5 with a home run and a double, driving in three runs. It was as if Boston took out nearly a whole century of frustration against the New Yorkers in one afternoon.
The Yankees' most lopsided loss in postseason play had been to Atlanta 12-1 in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series. Only Scott Brosius' homer off Tom Gordon in the eighth averted a shutout this time.
Jose Offerman hit The Rocket's second pitch for a triple, Valentin followed by lining a 96 mph fastball into the screen above the Green Monster, and the Red Sox were on their way.
Once the most popular player at Fenway, The Rocket was hooted off the mound by the 33,190 fans after Mike Stanley singled to start the third. Hideki Irabu relieved and promptly served up a two-run homer to Daubach that made it 6-0.
While Clemens showed signs of strain, sweating and shaking off his catcher, Martinez appeared perfectly at ease with the pressure of a big game. Sitting back in the dugout, he tapped his feet to the music played over the sound system.
Martinez was forced to leave Game 1 of the division series against Cleveland because of a strained muscle in the shoulder area, but came back to pitch six hitless innings in the clinching Game 5.
Facing the Yankees, he did not have his best fastball, topping out around 91 mph. But he mixed in extraordinary breaking pitches and got into an early groove, striking out Tino Martinez, Chili Davis and Ricky Ledee on 15 pitches.
Martinez walked two and did not permit a runner past first base, earning those "MVP! MVP!" cheers from the crowd.
Clemens, whose 192 victories for the Red Sox are tied with Cy Young for the most in team history, never was in control. The Yankees were fearful that his emotions would get the best of him, and he never displayed the touch he had in winning Game 3 of the division series sweep over Texas.
Clemens dropped to 2-3 lifetime in 11 career starts in the postseason.
Though he pitched for Boston from 1984-96, his departure as a free agent created ill will. And the Red Sox fans were glad to hound him, serenading him with chants of "Ro-ger, Ro-ger" from the start.
Boston also liked its friendly field. The last time the Red Sox had played in their park, they set a postseason record for runs in beating Cleveland 23-7 in Game 7.
Trot Nixon and Garciaparra hit doubles in the second off Clemens as Boston made it 2-0 and got Irabu warming up. Bullpen coach Tony Cloninger could be seen urging Irabu to hurry.
Stanley single into the left-field corner in the third and Clemens was pulled after one pitch to Daubach, once Irabu was ready.
Earlier, Clemens could be seen grimacing in the dugout. It was the score, rather than an injury, that seemed to be bothering him.
Clemens was charged with five runs, six hits and two walks in two-plus innings.
Clemens surely did not like his day, but it was well worth it to the fans. Certainly it was enjoyable for a local doctor who bought four prime box seats for a total of $12,100 in an internet auction.
Notes: Former Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio threw out the first ball. ... A contestant who could have won $2 million by throwing a pitch from the mound into a small net behind the plate missed the entire target. ... The Red Sox left tickets for former Yankees pitcher David Wells, now with Toronto.