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