Clemens reached two plateaus Friday when he recorded his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout in a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
But Clemens never has pitched a no-hitter. He teased Yankees' fans in this one before allowing his only hit when
singled to left field with one out in the eighth.
Clemens remained convinced a no-hitter will come his way before his career is complete. "Hopefully, lessons can be learned. I just have to be stingy as possible," he said. "It's going to happen."
Clemens has not thrown a complete game since May 28, 2000 and manager
lifted the 39-year-old after he threw 115 pitches, walked two and struck out nine.
"I thought Roger was going to get it. He was terrific," said Torre, who said he had no intention of taking Clemens out if the no-hitter was intact. "Are you crazy? I've been booed in this ballpark. I would have been strung up. No question."
Clemens kept the
at bay before Anderson sliced a pitch into left field for a clean single.
"I was thinking I gotta get a hit somehow," Anderson said. "That was not the same splitter he was throwing all night, not the one that was biting on all those strikeouts."
Clemens admitted he was aware of the no-hitter and that he wished he had more time to rest between innings. But that was not possible since the game was played at a brisk pace. A complete version of "God Bless America" would have been more than welcome.
"You sense it because the crowd gets into it," Clemens said of the no-hit bid. "I didn't have time to sit down. I was joking with Mel (pitching coach
) to try to get Kate Smith to sing the long version."
Meanwhile, the Yankees were having just as much trouble with Zambrano, who was far more composed than he was in his Friday's start against Pittsburgh. Zambrano earned the win in that game even though he walked five, set a team record with four wild pitches and tied another by hitting three batters.
Zambrano allowed just two hits, walked five and struck out six at Yankee Stadium.
"I really like pitching games where there is a lot of concentration," Zambrano said. "I tried to throw strikes. I knew I had a great defense behind me today."
Clemens was in control from the start, retiring the first 13 batters before
walked with one out in the fourth. Anderson replaced Lee at first base after grounding into a force play. He stole second to give Tampa Bay its first runner in scoring position, but Rolls popped out to end the inning.
The Yankees posted their first 1-0 extra-inning win since June 30, 1997 against a 10-inning triumph over Atlanta.