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Sports

August 31, 2007

Ten things we learned from Bronx sweep

(Continued)



Be serious. Clemens had his "C" game with him on Wednesday night, but he showed everyone he can turn it on at least once in a while.

Of course, he caught the Sox when they had several players in mini-slumps, but he fought through what appeared to be a shaky outing. His fastball topped out at 91 mph and his best pitch, the split-finger, was hit or miss. But he fought through it and had a no-hitter through five innings.

Even if you'd like to see him get pounded, which is the case with about 95 percent of New Englanders, you have to admit this guy, now 45 years old, is special.



7. Derek Jeter is big-game player.

I realize this isn't a surprise, but notice what happens when the Yankees really, really, really need to win. He seems to come through every time.

He woke the Yankees up on Wednesday against Beckett with an opposite-field double. Yesterday in the sweeper, he and his broom had four hits. For the series, he was 7 for 11.

Is there anything else to be said about this guy? In this great lineup, he is the spark. The Red Sox do have some power guys, but no one like this.



8. Sox bench needs benching.

Alex Cora (0 for 3) and Eric Hinske (0 for 7) appeared to be great bench players in the first few months of the season, but lately, they've been anything but.

These two had ample opportunities the last three days, especially Hinske, who was playing in Ramirez's absence. But neither were a factor.

Francona went out of his way last week to stick up for Cora, but he has struggled even more than Julio Lugo has.

Hinske is not a defensive replacement kind of guy, which makes his role here a difficult one if he can't hit. His average is .186 and .190 the last two months.

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