CHICAGO -- What was supposed to be a memorable afternoon in Chicago for Matt Clement turned into a forgettable one -- and it happened early.
The White Sox tagged Clement for eight runs and seven hits in only 3 1/3 innings to put the Red Sox in a hole they could not climb out of, leading to a 14-2 loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The right-hander gave up three home runs and did not walk a batter in the brief 64-pitch performance. Clement has not won a game since Sept. 3, and he finished the season with three consecutive losses and two no-decisions.
If the Red Sox want to return to the World Series, they are going to need solid performances by their starting pitching, including Clement. How Clement's short outing will affect the bullpen in the long run is to be determined.
There is one certainty, however. Red Sox manager Terry Francona would prefer his starters to get out of the fourth inning.
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALDS.
|ERA||15.75||Starters can't go 3 1/3 innings and expect to win series|
|BA||.250||The Red Sox will hit. That's what they do|
|BA w/ RISP||.167||Timing is everything, especially in the postseason|
|Runs||2||If Chicago stays hot, Boston needs to get hotter|
|Fldg %||1.000||No extra outs could mean difference in series|
|David Ortiz||.500 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBIs||Big Papi came to play and it shows|
|Trot Nixon||.500 BA, 0 HR, 1 R||Who is more intense than this guy?|
|Matt Clement||0-1, 21.60 ERA||The Red Sox need Clement to rise to the occasion|
Behind the numbers
The Red Sox had five doubles in Tuesday's game. Extra-base hits and how the Red Sox respond with runners on second or third base will be important.
Clement hit the first batter he faced to start the game and then he hit the third. The White Sox soon hit him back and the tone of the game was set by the first inning. It was obvious Clement was not hitting his spots early and the White Sox made him pay for it.
Leave Clement in or take him out. That's the question that faced Francona, and he made the right move by letting his player try to recover. Pulling the starter after the first or second inning would set a bad tone for the series and more importantly, begin to exhaust a bullpen that ranked last in ERA in the American League. Francona is going to need his bullpen this round. Every inning a starter can give him counts.
The five runs allowed by the Red Sox in the first inning were the most surrendered in a single frame since the Yankees scored five runs in the third inning the 2003 ALCS.
Manny not being Manny
Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 to snap an 18-game hitting streak in the postseason.
"We know that we have to come out and be as solid as we can. We have to forget about this as soon as possible. That was an incredible performance by that other team, you can't say it wasn't."
-- Johnny Damon
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.