Opening Day! - Printable Version
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- lawrenceterp - 04-01-2002 02:29 PM
The O's will win their first of 162 games today. Clemens will be gone by the fourth inning. Erickson will pitch a 7 hit shutout.
And we're only about 30 minutes away....
- Terpy - 04-01-2002 05:02 PM
The O's are up 5-1 in the 5th! WOOHOO!! If the Terps and the O's win today this will be like the best day ever!
- Terpy - 04-02-2002 12:42 AM
The O's beat the Yanks, the Terps are National Champs this has to be the best day ever!
- rickheel - 04-02-2002 04:21 AM
Orioles hammer Clemens, Yanks in opener
April 1, 2002 Print it
RECAP | BOX SCORE | SCOREBOARD
BALTIMORE -- The fans at Camden Yards cheered Cal Ripken, the Maryland Terrapins and Johnny Oates. As an unexpected bonus, they got to watch their Baltimore Orioles chase Roger Clemens to start the post-Ripken era.
Clemens was cruising, and opening day seemed headed for a predictable finish between the four-time defending AL champions and a team given little hope this season, until the Rocket tried to barehand a grounder.
Clemens stayed in the game but wasn't the same. Two walks and a wild pitch later, he was jolted for a grand slam by Tony Batista in the Orioles' 10-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday.
"I saw he was walking guys -- I decided I was going to hit the first pitch, whether it was a sinker or a fastball," Batista said. "I never hit a home run off Clemens before. We have a better team than people might think if we all do our jobs. I did my job today."
Clemens, coming off his record sixth Cy Young Award, gave up eight runs, walked five and threw two wild pitches -- all after he tried to field David Segui's grounder with one out in the fourth. Clemens deflected the ball, then snatched his hand away and leaned forward with both hands on his knees as Segui beat out the infield hit.
Clemens threw a couple of warmups before resuming, but his control was gone. He walked Jeff Conine and Jay Gibbons before Batista sent a drive a few feet beyond the 410-foot mark in left-center field for his fifth career slam.
"I think when he initially reached out he knew it was the wrong thing to do," New York manager Joe Torre said. "It's something he's been doing his whole career. But, yeah, it scares the hell out of you. I think he was just trying to overthrow after that."
Clemens was taken to the hospital for X-rays, which were negative. He has some swelling in his hand and is listed as day-to-day.
Even with the Orioles' win, opening day had to settle for second billing in the state of Maryland. A few hours later, Maryland played Indiana for the NCAA men's basketball championship, and one of the biggest cheers from the crowd of 48,058 -- an opening day record for Camden Yards -- came when Terrapins coach Gary Williams was shown on the scoreboard, wishing the Orioles luck in a taped message.
During the game, a fan ran along the concourse with a large Maryland flag. The Orioles' mascot waved the flag on the pitcher's mound after the final out, and "Go Terps" were the last words on the scoreboard before it went dark.
The retired Ripken, who played 21 seasons for the Orioles, also drew an ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard late in the game as he watched from a luxury suite. He visited with his former teammates before the game.
"It was really good to see him. It felt right," Baltimore manager Mike Hargrove said. "I don't think we ever want to shake Cal's shadow."
The longest cheer during the pregame ceremony was reserved for Oates, the former Orioles manager undergoing treatment for a brain tumor.
Oates threw out the ceremonial first pitch as the crowd, the Orioles and the Yankees cheered. Oates stood a few feet in front of the mound and delivered his pitch about a foot wide to bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.
"My main thought was don't cry," Oates said.
Scott Erickson (1-0), who sat out last season after elbow surgery, allowed three hits in six innings in his first outing in 20 months. He walked three of the first four batters he faced, leading to an unearned run in the first.
But Erickson settled down, escaped his only other jam in the fifth and earned his first victory since July 20, 2000.
Clemens (0-1) dropped to 5-3 in 12 opening day starts. He pitched 4 1-3 innings and allowed seven hits.
Jason Giambi, the centerpiece of New York's offseason additions, went 1-for-4 with a walk as the Yankees started their 100th season.
Giambi, who left Oakland as a free agent to sign a $120 million, seven-year deal, grounded out with the bases loaded to end the fifth with the Yankees trailing 5-1.
After Batista's slam, Clemens walked Melvin Mora, who stole second and scored on Geronimo Gil's RBI single. The Orioles sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning to take a 5-1 lead.
Torre left Clemens in the game for the fifth inning, but he lasted just five batters. Conine walked, Gibbons singled and Batista walked to load the bases, then Mora cleared them and ended Clemens' day with a three-run double.
The Yankees got two runs in the eighth on Derek Jeter's homer off reliever Rodrigo Lopez.
"You have to get the season started," Torre said. "Unfortunately we didn't start the way we wanted to."
Batista's grand slam was the second on opening day in Orioles' history. Eddie Murray hit one against Kansas City on April 5, 1982, at Memorial Stadium. . . . Clemens last allowed a slam on June 9, 2000, to Mike Piazza. . . . The Yankees are 57-42-1 on opening day. The tie came against Boston in 1910, when the game was called because of darkness with the score tied 4-4. . . . Clemens needs 20 wins to reach 300 in his career.