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October 9, 1999

Roger Clemens


Q. Did you watch Texas Texas/OU today?

ROGER CLEMENS: Yes, I did. That's not even a question. Obviously, I did.

Q. Roger, how do you feel at this moment?

ROGER CLEMENS: I'm extremely happy for a lot of guys in that clubhouse. I know they have been through this before. But it never gets -- like I said, I said that to Skip the other time, that champagne never gets any warmer. It definitely gets colder as you go. I'm happy for those guys for sure, and just happy and feel very blessed with this opportunity that I was able to get out there and make those three runs hold up. It was two outs, I believe, and that was a big lift for us tonight.

Q. Is this the real Roger Clemens?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't think I've ever left.

Q. Did it mean more doing this kind of performance in Texas?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, I think, you know, it is a little more difficult. I think over the years I have been able to handle the distractions even more, but there's been some bizarre games that I pitched in, especially in the old stadium for sure. But just having family here and them being able to see me pitch, every opportunity to see me pitch live, and be here away from their work and what they do at home in Houston or Austin, is special. I just thank the Lord that my mother was healthy enough. She did have a battle with an illness about ten days ago, and the doctors got her and fixed her up. She almost got a little too silly in the box up here at the game. To have my mom see me pitch in person, it's special to me.

Q. Roger, what was working for you?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, I think we were able to come right out of the gate here in a busy ballpark with a large crowd and gain momentum. As a pitcher you have to make that hold up. I talked about it earlier that when I'm preparing in the trainer's room prior to the game; it's neat that the guys behind me. They filter through and they will talk to me about where they want to play, and I turn around and say some things every once in a while, too, about positioning guys. And any time you have the lead, if I get behind a guy, I'm going to give him a hitable pitch and to be on your horse. I'm a power pitcher. We've got a lot of guys that throw a lot of breaking balls so you have to make adjustments there, and, you know, the adjustment was early there for me at times, but the ball is going to travel. And I took some off a couple pitches, and guys got some rotation on them, they carried a long way. Bernie chased them down. We got some grade defensive place. I was fortunate the ball hit me in the back of the leg, stayed close enough to me I could make a play and continued to keep momentum. That's a big thing, keep momentum on our side. We were able to do that.

Q. Talking about Straw's bomb taking any pressure off you?

ROGER CLEMENS: Obviously, it's great for a pitcher. You can go out there and you feel you can make a mistake. I had my losses this year. Somebody talking about that I had very minimal runs to work with in those losses. So sometimes you get hurt because you're out there pitching in a situation where you don't want to give up runs, and you don't want to give up the momentum. You don't want to let a guy hit a ball hard in the gap. To give -- to get that momentum on their side. We gained the momentum at that point. It's just funny, again, I see Coney in there. To me he's our best pitcher, our best money pitcher, and we haven't gotten to his slot yet. So hopefully, it will continue like this and we can continue on.

Q. You've had some great moments in your career. Where does this rate?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, this is right up there. They're all special. Having this opportunity and pitching in a city like New York, it's incredible. To play with all the way through with some guys that we could beat out three or four runs, and there's no quitting these guys. As you can tell, over the three games, maybe other than Game 1 that I alluded to earlier in the clubhouse there, Game 1 was more of a situation where El Duque walked five or six guys. Who are you going to pitch around to get to another guy? Both sides, I think Aaron did a little bit. You see guys that are just determined to get it done one way or the other, to go get a ball, to play out, to cut a ball off. That's what these games are about now. I've seen some highlights of other ball games in the National League, balls have been dropped that should have been caught in different games and left a big inning. Obviously, those mistakes, your mistakes are magnified this time of year, for sure.

Q. The Rangers, they have pretty formidable line-up, with some of the better hitters around the league. Were you surprised how little they did on offense in the series?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, you know, you watch it and I watched what El Duque did and Andy did. You're waiting for them to break out. You have to continue to concentrate and make good pitches because they have a dangerous line-up. You might have to ask them. Trying to concentrate on making my pitches and forcing the issue. But they're dangerous. They can light it up with a quickness, and we were fortunate to get through these three games, and we have a little period of rest and we'll go from there.

Q. I see the ice back on your leg. What about your hand?

ROGER CLEMENS: The hand's all right. A little stinger there. It went numb for a couple pitches. I was struck there, too, a couple years and there was a ball hit I could have bare-handed, and I felt better of it. Derek was there to make the play. I'm glad it didn't bend the thumb back or anything. Caught me on the bigger part of my hand; so it should be all right. A little sore maybe, but it should be all right.

End of FastScripts….

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