Roger Clemens struck out two batters in his return to the mound Saturday, starting for the Sugar Land Skeeters in his first professional game since 2007. He threw 37 pitches while holding the Bridgeport Bluefish scoreless over 3 ⅓ innings, admitting afterward that he exceeded his own expectations.
"I probably overextended myself a little bit," Clemens told reporters. "I wanted to see where I was at. Anytime you do these, they're fun but you don't want to go out and embarrass yourself or embarrass the club."
"The thing that I was impressed with is you have a 50-year-old man out there throwing 87-88 [mph] most of the night, and he's got a real good splitter," he told the Associated Press. "His command wasn't as good as it could have been, but that it was a good, hard splitter, which is what you wanted to see."
Joey Gathright, who spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, was able to see Clemens' stuff up close, striking out in the first inning. He doesn't think the 50-year-old right-hander has lost anything.
"He didn't lose any command. Everything was pretty good for somebody that age," Gathright said.
Clemens hasn't yet committed to making another start for the Skeeters, but he did leave the door open, saying he'd discuss the possibility with manager Gary Gaetti.
"We'll visit and if we can do something special down the road, we'll do it again for some of the people that couldn't get here," Clemens said. "I'm definitely open to it if they want to do it. It was a great deal of fun for me now that it's over and I stayed healthy."