With their last World Series victory back in 1918, the Red Sox are used to looking to the future. But instead of “Wait ‘til next year,” Boston’s unofficial motto this season has been “When Roger comes back…”
Now, Roger is coming back.
Roger Clemens makes his muchawaited return to the Red Sox rotation tonight after recuperating from a right shoulder strain that kept him out for all of spring training and the first five weeks of the season.
“I’ll be the first one glad to see him out there on the mound. That’s where he belongs,” first baseman Mo Vaughn said. “He’s going to help this whole staff with his presence.”
Clemens returned from Boston last week, having spent most of May in extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. on a regimen of rest and rehabilitation. After breezing through two minor-league tuneups, he will make his first Red Sox start of 1995 at Fenway Park against Seattle’s Chris Bosio.
“It’ll be an exciting ballgame,” outfielder Mike Greenwell said. “You know you have a pretty good chance to win a ballgame when he’s out there. It’s a good feeling to know we’ll have him (today).”
Although the preseason loss of the three-time Cy Young Award winner could have been devastated the Red Sox, whose No. 2 pitcher is 23-yearold Aaron Sele, the pitching staff hasn’t missed a beat.
Sele, formerly of Washington State, is 3-1 as the temporary ace, free-agent Erik Hanson has become the team’s most reliable pitcher with a 5-0 record and 2.60 ERA, and rookie Vaughn Eshelman has been a pleasant surprise with wins in his first three starts.
That’s not counting free agents Zane Smith (1-1, 3.28 ERA in four starts since being activated in May), and Tim Wakefield, a knuckleballer who is 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA despite having two days’ rest between starts.
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