Two of the majors’ oldest—and most effective—starters square off when Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees complete a three-game series against Jamie Moyer and the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium.
Clemens, pitching in his 20th and final big league season, turned 41 on Monday. The six-time AL Cy Young Award winner celebrated his birthday with a second straight dominant outing Tuesday, limiting the Texas Rangers to one run and five hits over seven innings in a 6-2 victory—the 304th of his surefire Hall of Fame career.
Clemens has surrendered just one run and 10 hits over 16 innings in his last two outings, lowering his ERA to 3.64—second only to Mike Mussina in New York’s heralded rotation. “The Rocket” has also upped his league-leading strikeout total to 148.
Moyer, who will turn 41 in November, boasts a team-high 15 wins—one shy of the league lead, and has victories in each of his last three outings while going 5-0 in his last seven starts.
The crafty left-hander allowed a run and three hits over seven innings in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Cleveland.
Both pitchers have shined in the twilight of their respective careers. Since 1997, Clemens boasts a 112-47 mark, while Moyer has gone 108-51.
Andy Pettitte and Gil Meche staged a classic pitchers’ duel on Saturday, with Meche coming out on top in a 2-1 victory as Seattle evened the series. Meche yielded the one run—a Nick Johnson solo homer—in eight strong innings before closer Shigetoshi Hasegawa shut down the AL East-leading Yankees in the ninth.
Pettitte tossed a complete game, but had a 10-start unbeaten streak snapped despite surrendering just five hits to the AL West-leading Mariners.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 1st place, AL West. Yankees - 1st place, AL East.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Moyer (15-5, 3.40 ERA). Moyer is 10-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 30 career appearances, including 28 starts, against the Yankees. He is 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 road starts this season.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Clemens (11-7, 3.64 ERA). Clemens is 20-12 with 11 complete games and a 3.05 ERA in 37 career starts against Seattle. “The Rocket” is just 4-5 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 starts at home this season, but has won two of his last three outings at Yankee Stadium.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .336 avg. and 27 SBs; Bret Boone, 29 HRs and 90 RBIs; Suzuki and Boone, 82 runs. Yankees - Derek Jeter, .322 avg.; Jason Giambi, 33 HRs and 88 RBIs; Alfonso Soriano, 81 runs and 28 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Yankees, 5-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - RHP Hasegawa has converted all nine of his save opportunities and has not surrendered a run in his last 24 innings dating to June 1. … OF Randy Winn is hitting .382 (13-for-34) with a homer, seven RBIs and eight walks in his career against RHP Clemens. … The Mariners snapped a three-game road losing streak Saturday. Yankees - SS Jeter had a 12-game hitting streak snapped Saturday. … The Yankees have 14 homers in their last seven games. … 1B Johnson has three homers and seven RBIs in his last four games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 35-22 on the road; Yankees - 33-23 at home.
INJURIES: Mariners - 3B Jeff Cirillo (shoulder), 15-day DL; INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; INF Carlos Guillen (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Kazuhiro Sasaki (ribs), 15-day DL. Yankees - RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Gabe White (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL.