We’ve all been talking about the difficulty of the Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee he-said-he-said game, but at least one prominent member of the congressional committee that led to this mess said that the key to the referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office (which eventually led to the indictment) was Andy Pettitte’s testimony:
Andy Pettitte’s sworn statement that Roger Clemens admitted using human growth hormone was a critical factor in a federal
grand jury’s decision to indict Clemens on charges he lied to Congress,
according to the top Republican on the House committee that held a 2008
hearing on performance-enhancing substances in baseball.
“If it was just Roger versus [Brian] McNamee, it’s a different
matchup . . . Without Pettitte,
neither McNamee nor Clemens was that articulate or credible.”
That top Republican is former Rep. Tom Davis of Virgina, speaking to Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.
Andy Pettitte, it’s worth noting, is not having a great week. His groin won’t heal, for one thing. And now he’s coming to grips with the fact that the experience he so obviously dreaded back in 2007-08 is coming back again, and with it his need to testify.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.