Game 5: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: First of all, Happy Easter to everyone (or at least those that celebrate).

It’s the rubber match and it will be Jeremy Bonderman taking on Brandon Duckworth.

This will be the first start of the year for Duckworth, who has a tendency to allow a lot of baserunners. Over the last 3 years his WHIP is 1.83 across 101.3 innings pitched.

Bonderman is making his 2nd start and looking for his first win.

Game Time 2:10

POSTGAME: I love how I tease the game with a stat, like about Duckworth:

who has a tendency to allow a lot of baserunners

and then have the exact opposite happen. Duckworth only allowed 4 hits and a walk. This was despite the fact that the Tigers made him throw pitches and routinely found themselves in hitters counts. In fact, Duckworth threw 51 41 (math is tricky) balls and 49 strikes, yet Tiger batters couldn’t make solid contact. It’s kind of hard to explain.

Fortunately Jeremy Bonderman had a very strong outing with the slider working quite well. He fanned 8 and his only walk was the intentional variety to Mark Teahen who had driven in both runs (I wonder if Teahen will be Bonderman’s new Matt Stairs). He went 6 innings and kept it close enough – with the help of the bullpen to set-up some 06ish heroics.

Magglio Ordonez finally made solid contact and was 2 feet away from a homer to right-center. A full pitch walk to Carlos Guillen was followed by a no-doubter line drive to left on the first pitch to Ivan Rodriguez. And with one swing an afternoon of angst and frustration about the offense was almost forgotten.

Other thoughts:

  • Carlos Guillen reached base 3 times and seems to be settling in after a slow start to the spring.
  • Marcus Thames drew a couple walks. Not to discredit Thames eye, but until Brandon Inge starts making solid contact the number 8 hitter isn’t going to see a lot to hit.
  • Fernando Rodney had pretty uneventful inning – which was great to see. He surrendered a double, but that was among 3 weakly hit balls.
  • Todd Jones turned in his second routine save in a row.
  • Gary Sheffield struck out twice to bring his total to 5. What is it about the Tigers and strikeouts?

Tigers 3, Royals 2


  1. Anne

    April 8, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Pitch like an ace today, Bondo.

  2. Eric Jackson

    April 8, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I’m curious if Leyland will go with leadoff Pudge or Granderson. Duckworth has an interesting Lefty/Righty split from last year:

    vs lefties: .232/.341/.261
    vs righties: .390/.451/.585

    His career splits aren’t as dramatic but consistently right handed batters hit him better and slug quite a bit better.

  3. Adam

    April 8, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Are we skipping Durbin because of the extra day off?

  4. billfer

    April 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    They’re not skipping him, just shuffling the rotation. He’ll pitch tomorrow in Baltimore.

  5. Ken from Cincinnati

    April 8, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    I’ll be damned if we get shutout by Duckworth. Time for Thames to get on base and Inge to get his first hit/RBI of the year.

  6. Anne

    April 8, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    I think Leyland wanted to avoid having Durbin pitch twice to KC, once today and then in their next series, probably to give Durbin the advantage of being unfamiliar to them.

  7. Mark in Chicago

    April 8, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    David DeJesus is the antichrist. That guy absolutely kills us. Time for the bats to get going and help Bondo out…

  8. Chris Y.

    April 8, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    0 for 16.

  9. Kathy

    April 8, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    Dial 911 for Lloyd McClendon!

  10. Anne

    April 8, 2007 at 3:58 pm


  11. David

    April 8, 2007 at 4:06 pm



    Jonesy don’t make me throw something at the TV.

  12. Bix

    April 8, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Hehe, we (and that includes me) have been giving C-Mo a lot of crap about defensive intensity – theo not as much as Maggs – and lo and behold, C-Mo is a defensive replacement in the 9th. Show me something, son!

  13. Bix

    April 8, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Also, can we trade for DeJesus before next week, just so we don’t have to pitch to him?

  14. Mark in Chicago

    April 8, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Good idea, Bix. I hate Dejesus, but I’d love to have him on my team. Reminds of a poor man’s Carlos Beltran (which is why the Royals still have him, prolly…..)

  15. Bix

    April 8, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    It’s not that I like DeJesus much (aside from the “Are you saying DeJesus can’t hit a curveball?” jokes that we could make), but no one else in that lineup hits us at all, while he’s hitting .370 against us over the last 3 years. Send them Rodney and Neifi for him.

  16. BigMax

    April 8, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    The Royals already had Neifi, Bix. They are in on the secret…

  17. Anne

    April 8, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Interesting to note that Jonesy has saved all 3 Tiger victories so far.

    And Bonderman–8 K’s, only 1 walk (intentional) and 2 ER’s, he did pitch like an ace today.

  18. Mike R

    April 8, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Duckworth pitched well today. Meaning, he’ll be rocked in his next start for KC.

    And when I saw that Rodriguez home run, I had flashbacks of the one he hit off of Fausto Carmona to beat the Indians in late July/early August I think it was, last year.

  19. Mike F

    April 8, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Moving Durbin also sets up for Roger’s return. Verlander (hard RHP) – Moroth (soft LHP) – Bonderman (hard RHP) – Rogers (soft LHP) – Robertson (hard LHP). If Bonderman and Durbin hadn’t flip-flopped, Rogers and Moroth would pitch back to back.

    And we all know that the skipper doesn’t like that.

  20. David

    April 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Yup it was in August last year, one of the best games I went to in ’06. Pudge is going to have a big year IMO.

  21. Brian B

    April 8, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Gary will be fine. Just having a tough time to start the season out. He is going to a great HR park against a team he loves to face in his career. .321/.397/.568 in 243 at bats.

  22. Jeff M

    April 8, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks for linking to the box score, Billfer. If it’s not too much of a pain, that would be a nice thing to have for all the game threads.

  23. JoeKujo

    April 8, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    I am lucky enough to have been at the game today, being a displaced Tigers fan in KC. I just finished watching Sports Center after a long day of celebrating, and this one escapes my memory now. Which Royal deflected that Bonderman pitch up into his face?

  24. Adam

    April 9, 2007 at 1:53 am

    Well, how about that. Riske took a risk and threw a buntable strike to Pudge. And Pudge took him yard. Blown saves are nothing new for KC either. Play nine innings.