Yankees pitcher Clemens says he’s unsure of return to playoffs

By Danielle Sessa, Bloomberg

NEW YORK — Roger Clemens said he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to pitch again for the New York Yankees this postseason because of a hamstring injury.

Clemens left last night’s game in the third inning, aggravating a hamstring problem that plagued him the final month of the season.

“I don’t know what’s going to go on,” Clemens, 45, told reporters in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium after the game. “I’m just going to do everything I can to get my leg well.”

New York beat Cleveland 8-4 in Game 3 of the American League Division Series to avoid elimination from Major League Baseball’s postseason. Phil Hughes replaced Clemens and held Cleveland scoreless for 3 2/3 innings to earn the victory.

Manager Joe Torre said after the game that he and General Manager Brian Cashman were talking about what to do with Clemens. He didn’t elaborate.

Clemens said he re-injured himself in the second inning after getting Kenny Lofton to pop out. He then allowed a home run to Trot Nixon that put Cleveland up 2-0. The right-hander went to the trainer’s room after the inning to get his leg wrapped.

He removed himself from the game after striking out Victor Martinez in the third. Clemens hadn’t pitched since Sept. 16 because of the leg and elbow pain. He went 6-6 with a 4.18 earned run average after New York signed him to a prorated US$28 million, one-year contract in May. Clemens said he didn’t think that when he walked back to the dugout it would be the last time he pitched at Yankee Stadium.

“I had every intention of getting out six, seven innings and just trying to keep them at bay and giving our guys a chance to score,” said Clemens, a record seven-time Cy Young Award winner. “That was disappointing.”