PREGAME: This is kind of a big game. And it’s Jeremy Bonderman against Johan Santana. And it’s not on TV if you live in Detroit.
Game Time 2:10
POSTGAME: After seeing so many frustrating games where either the offense was good and the pitching was bad or the more common situation where the pitching was good but the offense was bad, the Tigers put it all together and combined the bad pitching with the bad offense for a 12-1 thumping.
I was excited early in this game because MLB.TV neglected to blackout my feed. But then I kind of wish they would have.
Bonderman still continues to confuse me, but not opposing hitters. His fastball velocity is still there. His slider is still sharp. He manages to locate both pitches for the most part. He keeps getting strike outs, but it takes him a long time to do it. And the guys he doesn’t strike out seem to put the ball in play with some measure of authority. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of a change-up, or if his pattern has become predictable. But the stuff still seems to be there, but the results aren’t.
As for the offense, the approach was actually decent for the first 4 innings. Even when the Tigers would fall behind, they’d work the count back even or to a full count. Santana was averaging 20 pitches an inning before a 10-pitch-strike-out-the-side-5th inning. But despite the best intentions, the Tigers found themselves in one of those multi-multi-inning funks where they couldn’t get a baserunner near scoring position.
Thank goodness for an off day.