Roger Clemens will pitch on short rest for the first time this season when the Houston Astros face the Atlanta Braves in Game 4 of their National League Division Series.
Houston Manager Phil Garner asked Clemens if he could start tomorrow, and the Rocket eagerly accepted the challenge.
"Roger feels he can come back," Garner said. "He's preparing to come back on Sunday, and I will plan to use him."
In Houston's 9-3 win over Atlanta in Game 1 on Wednesday, Clemens showed the effects of a stomach virus that kept him from making his last start of the regular season.
He walked six -- all in the first four innings and his most since 1998. But the Rocket went seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out six.
Clemens won a Game 1 start for the first time in his storied career.
At 42, Clemens has looked nothing like a guy who retired for 78 days last winter: His winning percentage of .818 led the majors, he tied for second in the NL with 18 wins and was fifth with a 2.98 ERA.
Vazquez Gets the Call
Struggling right-hander Javier Vazquez will start for the New York Yankees in Game 4 of their first-round AL Division Series against the Minnesota Twins today.
The other option for Manager Joe Torre was Orlando Hernandez, but 'El Duque' is bothered by a tired arm.
After making the all-star team as an injury replacement, Vazquez had a terrible second half -- going 4-5 with a 6.92 ERA. He won only once in his last nine starts.
Schilling Saves the Trip
Boston's sweep of the Angels allows the Red Sox to rest Curt Schilling for the AL Championship Series. It also saved Schilling a trip.
If the Red Sox had lost Game 3 of the Division Series, Schilling was going to fly to California today to be ready for a possible decisive game tomorrow afternoon. And if Boston won Game 4, Schilling would have just turned around and come back home.
Morris on Mound
Matt Morris is looking forward to facing the Dodgers again. After all, he pitched his best game of the season against them.
Morris beat Los Angeles, 3-0,with a two-hit shutout on Sept. 3 in St. Louis. He retired his last 14 batters, struck out a season-high 11 and walked none.
The right-hander hasn't won in four starts since, going 0-2 and allowing 16 earned runs in 18 innings.
But that means nothing to Morris, who will be pitching with much less pressure on him today than opponent Jose Lima as the Cardinals try to complete a three-game sweep of the Division Series.
Suspension Pains Guillen
The more Anaheim's offense sputtered in the first two games of the playoffs, the deeper the sense of remorse Jose Guillen seemed to have for his actions that led to the Angel left fielder's Sept. 26 suspension for the remainder of the season.
"It's been tough to watch," Guillen said in an interview with ESPN that aired before the Angels lost to the Red Sox yesterday. "They need something."