It was the eighth time in Clemens' 27 starts this season the
Astros were shut out, and the fifth time by a 1-0 score -- including
three games that went extra innings.
"I don't bat an eye at that," said Clemens, who was trying for
his 340th career win. "That's baseball. I don't put a lot of stock
in it either way. I've had my share of wins. If I was worried about
that and how many games that I've had some tough luck over my 22
years, it would probably drive you crazy. So I don't worry about
"These are really good games, fun to pitch in and fun to battle
in, but I wish they'd come out on our side a little more often."
Weaver (13-8) allowed seven hits in eight innings, struck out 10
and walked none. The right-hander had nine strikeouts over the
first five innings -- already tying the season high for any Dodgers
pitcher -- and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second by striking
out Clemens after a two-out infield single by Brad Ausmus.
Sanchez got three outs for his fourth save, as Weaver won his
sixth straight decision over nine starts.
"When you face a guy like Roger, you've got to be on top of
your game," said Weaver, who set a career high for wins. "You
don't expect too much, so you take it as a 0-0 ballgame throughout
the game and hope that somewhere along the line you pull out in
front and win -- like we did today."
Clemens allowed two hits and struck out five in six innings, but
the Dodgers scored in the eighth on Oscar Robles' RBI single off
Chad Qualls (4-3). The hit scored Hee-Seop Choi, who doubled with
two outs as a pinch-hitter for Weaver.
"Jeff is having a pretty good year, from what I understand, and
he pitched well today," Clemens said. "He had a tremendous
breaking ball and was able to spot his fastball. He definitely has
the endurance to eat up a lot of innings and make them quality
Before this season, Clemens had 27 shutout losses in 640 regular
season starts. The Astros were not blanked in any of his 33 starts
last season, when he won his record seventh Cy Young Award with an
18-4 record. This was the team's 16th loss by shutout this season,
the most in the majors.
Pitching in stifling 92-degree heat, the 43-year-old Clemens
threw 26 pitches in the second inning and 25 in the fourth while
lowering his major league-leading ERA from 1.56 to 1.51. Last
Tuesday, he lost 2-0 at San Diego while retiring 17 consecutive
batters at one point in his first complete game since July 30,
"This was another game where, by the second or third inning,
you get the feel that, `Here we go again." Clemens said. "You
want to have good stuff and make good pitches. Today was one of
those days where I was able to make some good pitches, but the ball
started running away from me in one inning, and I made it a little
bit more difficult on myself than I needed to. Overall, it was a
Craig Biggio was sent up to bat for Clemens in the seventh after
a one-out single by Ausmus. Biggio, who has been hit by a major
league-record 271 pitches, leaned into the first pitch he saw from
Weaver and it struck him near the left elbow. But umpire Doug
Eddings ordered Biggio to stay in the batter's box, ruling that he
did not attempt to get out of the way.
"I thought it was a great call," Weaver said. "Biggio got his
elbow all the way to the outer third of the plate, and with that
huge guard on his arm, there's no incentive for him to move. I'm
pretty sure that pitch would have been a strike if he didn't put
his elbow out there."
Biggio and manager Phil Garner argued with Eddings to no avail.
Biggio then flied out to right field and slammed his bat in disgust
before running to first base. Eddings pointed to the bat,
signifying that Biggio would be fined for his actions, then ejected
him for continuing the argument. Biggio threw his batting helmet
away and at one point had to be restrained by third base coach Doug
Mansolino. Garner was ejected moments later by Eddings.
"Maybe he read the article where I said that's never happened
to me before," Biggio said. "I mean, I've had some that were
questionable -- but, come on. I'm sitting on the bench all day, the
guy throws a slider at you and it hits you in the middle of the
batter's box. That was only my second ejection. I guess I'm a big
Former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine played "God
Bless America" and the National Anthem on his harmonica. ...
Johnny Podres, who went the distance to beat the Yankees 2-0 in
Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, threw a ceremonial first pitch to
Roy Campanella II, the son of the legendary Brooklyn catcher and
three-time NL MVP, who died in 1993, at age 71.