What will happen with Roger Clemens in the end? Nobody knows for sure. Right after Newsday published a report that the legendary Rocket was about to return with the Astros for a third season, our phones went wild. We tried to confirm the news but it just wasn’t possible.
Tim Purpura immediately dismissed those reports, and told journalists there wasn’t an agreement yet. Clemens’ agent, Randy Hendricks, immediately followed. However, Newsday is sticking to its story, and insists two people close to the negotiations assure them Clemens has made up his mind and he will be an Astro once again.
The Astros organization is known for taking such announcements very seriously. When you get something out of top management, it is not a mere rumor but a done deal; that’s why they quickly went to tell us it was premature to talk about a decision from Clemens. We all just have to wait and see.
Clemens has already many advantages in Houston he will not find anywhere else, and on top of that list there’s being close to his home; something he has enjoyed for the past two years. He has already said no to the Rangers, and we heard that from Tom Hicks himself. Time keeps on running, and we’ll keep on following the story, to see what will happen in the end with the stellar hurler.
Now let’s talk about tonight’s game.
It certainly feels great to see the Astros overcoming an adverse deficit, and to see how Andy Pettitte, finally, rolls with the punches, and rises above trouble. An explosive seventh frame was needed by the Astros to beat St. Louis 6-3.
After Lance Berkman opened the scoreboard in the first with an RBI single, Yadier Molina evened the score with a double in the second. Pettitte kept going on the mound without big issues, until he granted two consecutive homers in the fourth frame, to Scott Rolen and Juan Encarnacion.
However, those were the last runs the Cardinals would score in the whole game; Pettitte was able to get himself together, allowing no runs in two more episodes, for a total of 3 runs and 7 hits given up in a total of six frames, earning the win.
His Cardinals counterpart, Anthony Reyes, was also doing a great job, until the seventh. The Astros staged a rebellion and turned the tables on the redbirds. RBI Singles by Mike Lamb and Orlando Palmeiro were just the start; and Craig Biggio provided his fireworks show with a 2-run homer off reliever John Hancock.
In the ninth, Brad Lidge got the ball after an efficient outing from Dan Wheeler. Lidge got his 14th save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning. That’s definitely something newsworthy, after everything the Astros closer is going through.
There’s still a lot of things to do, in order to finally say the long and tedious slump is over. But it is undoubtedly a great step forward.