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Roger Clemens' bullpen support

By: Tom Tippett
Date: May 24, 1996

Today on the Boston sports radio station (WEEI 850), a caller mentioned the lack of support Roger Clemens has received from the bullpen over the years. As a longtime Boston resident and Sox fan, I thought I'd write a little computer program to compile the results of all of Roger's career starts. Here's what I found:

Roger has started 359 games in his career, through last night. He has completed 96 of them and the Sox have won 75 of those games, for a winning percentage of .781.

Roger has left the game while trailing 90 times. The Sox are 8-82 in those games, and Roger's record in those games is 0-78. The team has taken Roger off the hook twelve times -- eight wins and four games in which the team rallied to tie before a reliever took the loss.

He left with the game tied 26 times. The Sox are 11-15 in those games. In one game, the winning run was a man Roger left on base, so his record is 0-1.

He's handed the bullpen a lead 147 times, with the team winning 126 of those games. In addition to the 21 games in which the pen lost the game, there were 16 other games in which the pen lost the lead before the Sox rallied to win. There were two losses in which Roger was responsible for the tying and go-ahead runs. Roger's record in those games is 110-2.

In other words, the team has taken Roger off the hook 12 times and has blown 37 leads. I'd expect the number of blown leads to be higher than the number of times he's been taken off the hook because he's had the lead in many more games. But a 37-12 ratio is way too high. It should be more like 19-12, so the pen may have cost him as many as 18 wins.

Counting both losses and games in which the lead was blown in a game the Sox won, the pen has blown the lead 19 of 35 times with a 1-run lead, 7 of 26 times with a 2-run lead, 7 of 30 times with a 3-run lead, and 4 of 20 times with a 4-run lead. No wonder Roger likes to finish what he starts!

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