Clemens vs. McNamara: The feud continues

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Clemens vs. McNamara: The feud continues

It's been 25 years, but Roger Clemens and John McNamara still tell conflicting stories about whether or not Clemens asked out of Game 6 of the 19865 World Series.

McNamara lifted Clemens for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth inning with Boston leading, 3-2, and later said Clemens asked out of the game. Clemens has always vehemently denied the charge. On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the MLB Network will televise a special -- '1986: A Postseason to Remember' -- it which it interviewed both men (along with other members of the Red Sox, Mets, Angels and Astros). And both continue to tell the same story:

McNamara on Clemens:"He came off the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning and we were waiting there at the steps to congratulate him you know, getting out of the seventh and he came down the steps and he said, 'Thats all I can pitch.' Quote unquote. And my answer to him was, 'You gotta be sting me.' And he said 'No,' and he showed us his finger . . . where he had the start of a paper tear on his middle finger and - well, correct this right here and now he had no blister whatsoever, and how that got started I dont know. But it spread rapidly and it continued over the next two years that the blister took him out of the ballgame. And that is not the case. As sure as Im sitting here."

Clemens: "I think I was getting ready to hit and if Im not mistaken, McNamara pinch-hit Mike Greenwell for me. Again, I dont know why McNamara would say something like that, if it was to deflect attention from the game. My recollection is I was at the bat rack putting my gloves on or getting my bat, my helmet or whatever and getting ready to go hit. I think I had only given up four hits. Ive pitched 100-pitch games, Ive pitched 150-pitch games, I think I threw a 164-pitch game at some point in my career, so I dont know where that came from."

Clemens on if he wanted to and could continue pitching in Game 6: "Yes, again, a little problem with my finger. If theyre saying they didnt see anything with my finger, I mean, there was blood on the baseballs and crazy things like that, but it wasnt going affect me to continue."

McNamara on Clemens claiming he could still stay in and pitch following the seventh inning:"That is not accurate. That is not the truth and I dont lie. Those words are indelibly imprinted in my mind."

Red Sox reliever Calvin Schiraldi on Clemens leaving after the seventh inning: "I played with Roger at the University of Texas and then again with the Red Sox and Ive never known him to come out of a game willingly."

McNamara also addressed his decision to leave Bill Buckner at first base in the bottom of the 10th inning with a 5-3 lead, when he'd lifted Buckner in favor of Dave Stapleton in every other postseason game that year in which Boston entered the last inning with a lead:

McNamara on Stapleton:
"The case is that Buckner was the best first baseman I had. And Dave Stapleton has taken enough shots at me since then that he didnt get in that ball game, but Dave Stapletons nickname was 'Shaky'. And you know what that implies. I didnt want him playing first base to end that game, and it was not any sentimental thing that I had for Billy Buck to leave him out there. He was the best first baseman I had."

Red Sox starter Bruce Hurst on McNamaras decision to leave Buckner in: "I think that Stapleton made a heck of a play in Game 1 to save that victory. Ill be honest, Ive never heard Dave Stapleton called 'Shaky'. Thats a newsflash for me. I liked Stape, I thought hes a heck of a player, he added to our team, came ready to play every day. He didnt get a lot of opportunities that year but, you know, he did what he was asked to do. Ive never heard that before."

Also, McNamara and pitching coach Bill Fischer addressed the rumor that Oil Can Boyd was unavailable to pitch in Game 7 because he was drunk.

McNamara:
"Well you said it . . . thats the exact reason."

Fischer:
"I came to the park and Al Nipper came up to me and said, 'You should check on your long man.' He was boxed up, under the weather from drinking, so we locked him in a room."

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.

 

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Shaughnessy: Everything Farrell does blows up in his face, particularly in 8th inning

Dan Shaughnessy joins Sports Tonight to discuss Rick Porcello giving up a game-tying homerun in the 8th, and explains why John Farrell has been very unlucky with any decision he makes.

First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Benintendi injured in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

The injury to Andrew Benintendi looked ominous.

Benintendi's left leg buckled as he tried to elude a tag on the bases in the seventh inning. He left the game with the help of two trainers, hobbling badly.

The Sox later announced that Benintendi suffered a left knee sprain, and will be further evaluated Thursday.

It's impossible to determine how serious the injury is. The prognosis could be anywhere from a few days, to, potentially, a season-ending issue.

Regardless, it's a blow to the Sox, who clearly have benefited from Benintendi's athleticism and energy in the three weeks since he's been promoted from Double A.

 

Rick Porcello is gobbling up innings in the second half.

Porcello gave the Sox 7 2/3 innings Wednesday night, allowing three runs. It marked the sixth straight start in which Porcello provided the Sox with a minimum of seven innings.

Through the end of June, Porcello had pitched seven or more innings just four times. Since the start of July, he's done it seven times -- and came within an out of doing it in another start.

Porcello also extended his streak of pitching at least five innings to 34 straight starts, dating back almost a calendar year to Aug. 26 of last year. Of those 34, he's pitched at least six in 31 of those.

In fact, Porcello leads the majors in innings pitched since that streak began.

 

David Ortiz continues to amaze

In the first inning, Ortiz walloped a pitch into the right field seats for his 30th homer, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead three batters into the game.

The homer was significant beyond that, too. With it, Ortiz reached two milestones -- 30 homers and 100 RBI for the season.

It marked the fourth straight season in which Ortiz has reached both, and it also marked the 10th time as a member of the Sox that he had hit both plateaus.

The homer also meant that Ortiz is now the oldest player - at 40 years, 280 days old -- to hit 30 homers in a season. And finally, it gave Ortiz 100 RBI seasons with the Sox, passing Ted Williams, with whom he had shared the record of nine.

And, remarkably, there's more than a month left in the season to add on to those achievements.