Famous dad watches Tigers’ Kody Clemens make MLB debut
DETROIT (AP) — Roger Clemens had some great baseball moments in the city of Detroit, including a 20-out performance at Tiger Stadium.
Few had him as excited as in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins.
With the seven-time Cy Young Award winner watching from a suite at Comerica Park, 26-year-old Kody Clemens made his major league debut for the Tigers.
A day after being promoted from Triple-A Toledo, Clemens went 0 for 3, hitting twice and walking, as Detroit beat the Twins 4-0 to earn a split. He was flawless on the field at second base and grounded for the final out.
“It was a long day with the doubleheader and all, so I was sitting with shaky knees. I was ready to go,” he said. “I had a few butterflies at first, but I went in there and soaked it all up a bit. I had so much fun. It was awesome.”
A third-round pick in the 2018 Entry Draft, Clemens was hitting .283 at Toledo with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 45 games. Drafted as a second baseman, he played first, second, third and left field this season.
“I’m just really happy for him – he’s worked really hard to get here and it’s finally happened for him,” said his 59-year-old father, who came from his home in Texas to watch the game. “We put everyone in scramble mode yesterday to come up here.”
Hitting sixth and facing fellow rookie Cole Sands, Clemens lined up left field his time.
“There were definitely butterflies on the field in the first inning, of course, and in the box for the first at bat. He’s a good pitcher and I put a good swing on the ball, so I was super happy with that and then the walk. Then, you know, two strikeouts, but that was awesome,” he said.
“After maybe my second or third at bat, I took a few deep breaths and was like ‘it’s okay, I’m fine,'” he said.
Clemens posed on the pitch with his mother and father after the game.
“We had so many family and friends here today, and to win while they’re here and see the smiles on all their faces was awesome,” he said.
The versatile Clemens was told he would start in left field Wednesday night against the Twins.
“I didn’t even know it, but it sounds good,” he said.
His dad went 11-8 in 26 career starts against the Tigers in Detroit, but has some special memories.
“It’s like a second home to me because I had an aunt who lived here and I always stayed in her basement when we were here instead of the team hotel,” he said. declared. “And I went for my 300th (win) here, and of course, on the road, I had my 20 strikeout game.”
Kody Clemens wears number 21, one of the numbers his father wore. He also wore No. 22 with the Yankees and Astros.
Roger Clemens pitched 18 games in the minor leagues before staying in the major leagues. Kody played 325.
“We had very different experiences, but we discussed the same thing that we always talk about – if you’re going to be in the big leagues, you might as well win,” Clemens said. “Find a way to do it.”
Roger Clemens knew how to do this. He posted a 354-184 record with the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Astros and Yankees. The 11-time All Star was a member of two World Series champions. A power pitcher, he hit 4,672.
Kody Clemens isn’t worried about comparisons to his father’s strikes. The elder Clemens insists he was a very good bunter, but his son is quick to tell him he can’t hit anything.
The star pitcher hit .173 (31 for 179) with six doubles and no homers.
“The cool thing is when he heard the news, he got text messages from a lot of my major league teammates, so I was able to step back as a dad and let them pass on some wisdom. “said Roger Clemens. “Derek Jeter gives him advice and Jeff Bagwell gives him advice.”
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