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10/04/05 9:49 PM ET

Red Sox short hops

Clement's struggles put Boston in too big of hole

CHICAGO -- What was supposed to be a memorable afternoon in Chicago for Matt Clement turned into a forgettable one -- and it happened early.

The White Sox tagged Clement for eight runs and seven hits in only 3 1/3 innings to put the Red Sox in a hole they could not climb out of, leading to a 14-2 loss in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The right-hander gave up three home runs and did not walk a batter in the brief 64-pitch performance. Clement has not won a game since Sept. 3, and he finished the season with three consecutive losses and two no-decisions.

If the Red Sox want to return to the World Series, they are going to need solid performances by their starting pitching, including Clement. How Clement's short outing will affect the bullpen in the long run is to be determined.

There is one certainty, however. Red Sox manager Terry Francona would prefer his starters to get out of the fourth inning.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the ALDS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 15.75 Starters can't go 3 1/3 innings and expect to win series
BA .250 The Red Sox will hit. That's what they do
BA w/ RISP .167 Timing is everything, especially in the postseason
Runs 2 If Chicago stays hot, Boston needs to get hotter
Fldg % 1.000 No extra outs could mean difference in series

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
David Ortiz .500 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBIs Big Papi came to play and it shows
Trot Nixon .500 BA, 0 HR, 1 R Who is more intense than this guy?

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Matt Clement 0-1, 21.60 ERA The Red Sox need Clement to rise to the occasion

Behind the numbers
The Red Sox had five doubles in Tuesday's game. Extra-base hits and how the Red Sox respond with runners on second or third base will be important.

Frozen moment
Clement hit the first batter he faced to start the game and then he hit the third. The White Sox soon hit him back and the tone of the game was set by the first inning. It was obvious Clement was not hitting his spots early and the White Sox made him pay for it.

Slick move
Leave Clement in or take him out. That's the question that faced Francona, and he made the right move by letting his player try to recover. Pulling the starter after the first or second inning would set a bad tone for the series and more importantly, begin to exhaust a bullpen that ranked last in ERA in the American League. Francona is going to need his bullpen this round. Every inning a starter can give him counts.

Runs allowed
The five runs allowed by the Red Sox in the first inning were the most surrendered in a single frame since the Yankees scored five runs in the third inning the 2003 ALCS.

Manny not being Manny
Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 to snap an 18-game hitting streak in the postseason.

Last word
"We know that we have to come out and be as solid as we can. We have to forget about this as soon as possible. That was an incredible performance by that other team, you can't say it wasn't."
-- Johnny Damon

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.