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Clement finds relief after exiting angrily
Matt Clement was fuming.
And he didn't mind displaying his temper before a sold-out Dodger Stadium crowd of 52,758 and a national audience on ESPN.
After being removed Sunday because of a bruised right biceps, the normally mild-mannered Clement flung his glove into the dugout and turned over a Gatorade cooler before marching into the tunnel.
Hours later, after the Cubs' bullpen had cemented a 3-0 victory over the Dodgers, Clement's anger had turned to relief.
"You hate to leave a game when you feel so good," he said. "That's why I was so upset. I let it out real quick and I was fine. I'm just glad we won the game and I'm OK."
Cubs manager Don Baylor said Clement might have to miss his next start. Clement reluctantly acknowledged that possibility.
"They're going to have to say, 'We're not letting you pitch,'" he said. "Somebody would have to pull me off the mound, like they did tonight. I'm planning on going back out there. There's no other thought in my mind."
Clement dominated the Dodgers for four innings Sunday, holding them hitless as he alternated between darting, 95 m.p.h fastballs and sharp sliders.
But Clement could not withstand a hit he sustained in the fifth while he was at the plate. Dodgers right-hander Kevin Brown tagged him in the right biceps with a tailing fastball.
Clement stayed in the game but was removed after throwing a few warmup tosses before the bottom of the fifth.
"He wanted to continue, but I wasn't going for it," Baylor said. "If I sent him out there and he got in trouble, I'd be kicking myself. I got him out, and it was the best thing for him."
It also turned out fine for the Cubs as four relieversRon Mahay, Joe Borowski, Jeff Fassero and Antonio Alfonsecapreserved the shutout. That allowed the Cubs to finish 3-3 on their West Coast swing.
Third baseman Mark Bellhorn supplied all of the Cubs' run production. Bellhorn, starting his fourth consecutive game, ripped a first-pitch sinker into the right-field seats off Brown in the fourth inning to end a scoreless tie. He knocked in two more runs with a broken-bat single in the fifth.
Bellhorn said he's not fazed by the fact that third baseman Bill Mueller is set to be activated from the disabled list Monday. "When I made this team in the first place," Bellhorn said, "I thought I'd come off the bench and do whatever I could to help the team."
The Cubs' only flaw Sunday was their defense. Both Todd Hundley and Fred McGriff drew errors for flubbing routine plays.
Hundley didn't get a glove on a second-inning popup that landed about 20 feet in front of home plate. And McGriff let Shawn Green's five-hopper roll through his legs in the fourth.
But Clement was good enough to make up for both gaffes.
Hundley, hitless in four at-bats, fell to 1-for-17 on the trip and 5-for-39 (.128) on the season.