Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 13, 2005
BASEBALL: Hitting Rockets

Roger Clemens is closing in on a surprising milestone. Not his 330 wins, or his .667 winning percentage, or his 4367 strikeouts. Clemens is flirting with a lifetime .200 batting average. He's batting .357 (5 for 14) this season, raising his lifetime regular season average to .198; it would go to .200 even if he goes 1 for his next 4.

Entering 2004, Clemens was a most unlikely hitting prospect; while his lifetime average sat at .200, that was in only 20 at bats, for a 41-year-old who'd never batted more than 4 times in the same season and who'd gone 1 for 8 in his postseason career. But superior athlete that he is, Clemens rapped out 12 hits last season, including his third career double, driving in 7 runs in 32 starts.

A .200 batting average is not easy for a pitcher. Mike Hampton, of course, is the undisputed champ, a lifetime .243 hitter with 15 career home runs who sports a 900 OPS this season. Hampton's presently batting over .260 for the sixth time in eight years. After that, even the best hitting pitchers struggle: Tom Glavine's career average is .185, Greg Maddux .177, Dwight Gooden finished at .196. A few have done it in recent years: Orel Hershiser at .201, Fernando Valenzuela at .200, Rick Aguilera .201. If Clemens manages to match that, given the late start to his batting career, you gotta tip your cap to the guy.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:17 PM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

That would make him better than this year's version of Eric Chavez (whom I unloaded earlier today, along with a plethora of other players in exchange for the Unit).

Posted by: RW at May 14, 2005 12:26 AM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg