Estes misses Clemens from mound, hurts him anyway

Sunday, June 16, 2002

The AssociatedPress

NEW YORK -- Shawn Estes and Mike Piazza hit Roger Clemens all right -- with longballs instead of beanballs.

In the weeks leading up to Clemens' first appearance at Shea Stadium since drilling Piazza in the helmet, the big question was whether the Mets would retaliate when the pitcher finally came to bat Saturday.

Instead, the Mets did their most damage when Clemens was on the mound.

Estes, who was still in San Francisco when Clemens beaned Piazza nearly two years ago, hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning and Piazza connected for a solo shot in the sixth as Mets beat the Yankees 8-0.

With the fans standing in anticipation of the showdown, Estes made his intent clear on the first pitch: an 87 mph fastball that was about a foot behind Clemens.

"I missed my spot. I didn't execute my pitch," Estes deadpanned. "You can draw your own conclusions."

Piazza could barely get a glove on the pitch that wasn't close to its intended target -- whether that was Clemens or the strike zone.

"It was intentional," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "If that was what they felt they needed to do, then so be it."

Clemens eventually struck out, then stepped out of the batter's box, smirked and touched the bill of his helmet as he looked out toward Estes.

Home plate umpire Wally Bell immediately issued a warning to both teams.

Estes found a better way to hurt Clemens, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth, setting off a loud roar from the sellout crowd of 54,347 and derisive chants of "Ro-ger! Ro-ger!"

  • MORE BASEBALL, Page 2

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