Roger Clemens put up one of his best performances when he was still with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was during this stint of his career that Roger Clemens recorded the most strikeouts versus the Royals in a nine-inning game and the most by a single pitcher. The fact that Clemens’ name is attached to this record should be of no surprise due to his track record of mowing down opponents.
On August 25, 1998, pitching in the Skydome in front of a crowd of just over 26,000, Clemens dispatched the Royals in a neat 2 hours and 16 minutes. He only faced 30 batters, giving up three hits and walking none while throwing 68 percent of his pitches for strikes. Ringing up two players per inning is one heck of a performance and quick way to tally 18 strikeouts on the day.
Decent players like Johnny Damon and Jose Offerman managed to strikeout multiple times with a final tally of 3 and 2, respectively. Offerman was in the midst of a strong batting season where he would finish with a .315/.403/.438 slash line, leading the majors in triples and collecting 191 hits but it was of no help this game. Veteran Terry Pendleton was punched out in each of his three at-bats and Royals journeyman catcher Sal Fasano suffered the same fate.
Clemens would wind up leading MLB with 20 wins that year and was the front-runner in the American League with a 2.65 ERA and 271 strikeouts. He collected his fifth Cy Young award and was no stranger to striking out a large number of batters each game.
One common theme between these games? They were all on the road. At least the Royals have the decency to not subject the home crowd to these performances.