Tonight is Kevin Brown's Clemens moment. The same one Roger faced in 1999 and in 2003 when Rocket was tapped to start game 3 of the ALCS against the Blosox.
In 1999, the matchup was Pedro v. Rocket, Sawx down 0-2, the man who'd left the Sawx and won the next two Cy Youngs before going to their most hated rival vs. the Sawx new pitching savior and the shoo-in 1999 Cy Young Award winner. Result: Sawx 13, Yanks 1 -- an arse-whipping that Bostonians still revel in despite losing that series 4-1. Think about the nearest equivalent beating by the Yanks over the Sawx that resulted in nothing -- the 22-1 win in Ratway in 2000 when the Yanks won only two games of a four-game set. And much as I admire Clemens, I never had complete trust in him after that complete collapse (even with his awesome outings in the '99 WS, '00 ALCS, '00 WS, etc.).
In 2003, the teams were tied 1-1 in the ALCS and Rocket v. Pedro II was on in game 3 at Fenway. Rocket wobbled early and the Yanks were down 2-0 before they scratched back with a run in the second, a Jeter bomb in the third (only dinger by a righty that Pedro allowed in 2003), and Clemens settled down. Rocket settled down ('tho the benches never did -- this was the Zim-Pedro game), Mo cleaned up and the Yanks won.
In his first game back from his punch-the-wall stupidity, Brown tossed BP to the RedSax in 2/3 of an inning as the Yanks got whacked, 11-4. Last week, Brown pitched his best game in three months by holding Minnesota underwater for 6. Tonight, will be Brown's Clemens moment to see how tough Kevin is. Too bad the RedSawx aren't the Braves -- Brown seems to like facing the TomahawkChokers in the playoffs.
UPDATE: Uh, rainout tonight = Clemens moment tomorrow.