Astros secure 10-2 victory over Marlins

In baseball, there are days when you can forget about scandals and steroids. Last Wednesday was one of those days. The day started in a typical fashion in Major League Baseball until Roger Clemens took the mound for the Houston Astros.

Bess Clemens, Roger’s mother, died the morning of Roger’s big start against the Florida Marlins. The future Hall of Famer made the scheduled start in impressive fashion, allowing one run in 6 1/3 innings of work. Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, and Mike Burns finished the rest of the game in relief of Clemens for the 10-2 Astros victory.

The victory kept the Astros in tight contention with the Marlins in the NL wildcard race. For Clemens, it was win number twelve. With this remarkable performance, Clemens lowered his Major League Baseball’s best earned run average to 1.77.

After the game, Clemens spoke about his mother, stating that she was 75-years-old and died of complications from emphysema. According to Clemens from CBS Sportsline, “I feel very blessed that she’s at peace now. The last 10 years were hard on her. The last 2-3 days were grueling.”

Clemens continues to give voters of the NL CY Young a tough decision. How do you keep an ERA of 1.77 away from the CY Young? The reason is St. Louis Cardinal Chris Carpenter and Florida Marlin Dontrelle Willis.

Carpenter enters the week with a record of 21-4 with a 2.31 ERA. He has not lost since the All-Star break and has helped the Cardinals clinch the playoffs. Carpenter is pitching well at the right time, winning the NL pitcher of the week award. During that time, he was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA.

In a battle of possible CY Young pitchers, Carpenter out dueled Clemens; pitching a complete game, allowing two runs, and striking out eight Astros.

Many people feel that it is a race between Clemens and Carpenter, but Dontrelle Willis has thrown his hat into the ring. Although Willis may be a stretch to win the prestigious award, his statistics warrant discussion.

Willis is 21-8 with a 2.49 ERA. Willis is in his 3rd season pitching for the Marlins and was the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year. In his last six games, Willis has gone 6-0 in 442/3 innings. He has allowed seven runs and struck out 22 batters.

Pitchers with an outside shot at the NL CY Young include Clemens’ teammates Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt, and Washington National John Patterson.

Each of these pitchers has their teams in contention and all have similar statistics. It will be a long tedious decision that no one wants to make. Who will win this year’s NL CY Young? We will know in a few short weeks.