Top 50 Sox Seasons #41: Roger Clemens, 1992

18-11, 2.41/1.074/.226, 246.2 IP, 208 K, 62 BB, 7.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 3.4 K/BB, 5 SHO, 175 ERA+
All-Star, CYA – 3

Clemens had one great season left in Boston, and 1992 was it. His strikeout rate declined, but his walks remained low, and as a result, Clemens led the league in ERA for a third straight year. He started strong out of the gate, throwing 20 consecutive scoreless innings in April, throwing another 19 in May that included consecutive shutouts on May 9 and 15. Later, on July 18, Clemens threw a two-hit shutout, the fourth of five times he would blank an opponent that season (and the second two-hitter). No Red Sox pitcher has matched that total since, and in all baseball only Randy Johnson in 1998 (six) threw more.

It was another season in which Clemens should have won 20 games. Though he received only three no decisions in his 33 appearances, each one was a quality start, as were six of his 11 losses. Meanwhile, only one of his 18 wins resulted in a Game Score lower than 50. Perhaps it was the frustration that led to Clemens’ increasingly antagonistic behavior – toward a Boston Herald columnist, at whom he threw food during a postgame media session; and toward Wade Boggs, who had requested that an error be rescored a hit in September.

Key game: Sept. 7. Clemens matches zeroes with Nolan Ryan for seven innings until the Red Sox strike for two in the eighth. Clemens finishes with nine strikeouts in eight innings as Sox win 3-0.

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