Besides giving the Houstons an obvious psychological boost, Clemens gives them badly needed innings at an above average level of performance. No one
will confuse Roger with the Rocket of yore, but he's still an effective pitcher, even at 41.
But how will Clemens fare in Houston? Despite some holes (any resemblance between Craig Biggio and a centerfielder is purely coincidental), the Astros
defense is a significant improvement on the unit Clemens saw stumbling behind him in 2003. No Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, or Alfonso Soriano means fewer
singles up the middle and a cloud of dust, even when your second-baseman's named Jeff Kent. Still, I'd call it a wash. For some reason, right-handers hit him
pretty hard (his three-year splits are .276/.315/.438 vs. R, and .224/.300/.347 vs. L), and with that short left-field porch in the Juice Box, the Rocket could
spend a lot of time getting launched himself.
Houston needed this badly, but while Clemens will serve ably as their third or fourth starter, this move doesn't put the kibosh on the Cubs hopes for 2004.
If Chicago can keep their starters off the DL, the division will still be theirs for the taking.