Game 28: Tigers at Yankees

PREGAME: The Tigers look to get an early grip on the series in New York.

Jeremy Bonderman will look to not walk everyone. He’s allowed 13 in his last 2 starts and 21 in 27.1 innings this season. Somehow he has a 4.28 ERA but it won’t stay that low if he can’t find the strike zone with any kind of consistency.

Andy Pettitte has been up and down this season with 3 quality starts and a couple un-quality ones. His last time out Cleveland got to him for 5 runs in 5 innings on the strength of 11 baserunners and two homers.

The Tigers lineup is:

  1. Rodriguez, C
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Thames, LF
  9. Inge, CF

DET @ NYY, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Game Preview – Baseball-Reference.com

POSTGAME: Did the Tigers just make it through a game with only 2 pitchers? Did a starter get 23 outs? Did Placido Polanco hit 2 homers? Yes, it all really did happen.


This game started out poorly. Jeremy Bonderman was having all kinds of control problems. He (or Pudge) insisted on throwing 2 seam fastballs that couldn’t be controlled. The first 16 pitches were 2 seam fastballs that tailed off the plate. He then started to mix a little, but still only threw 4 pitches that weren’t fastballs in that difficult first inning.

But then Bonderman really settled in, and with the help of some early strikes in the count and Yankees impatience he was able to last into the 8th inning.

The turning point in this game was probably the 5th inning. Marcus Thames hit a 2 run homer to give the Tigers the lead and Bonderman followed with a 1-2-3 5 pitch inning.

  • One of the most encouraging things I saw tonight was Gary Sheffield’s at-bat in the 6th. He fouled off a couple tough 2 strike pitches and then ripped a line drive single to left. Yes he hit the homer last night, but you’re never sure if he was getting back or just ran into one. In that at-bat he looked like the healthy Sheffield of last year.
  • I think Placido Polanco might be getting his stroke back a little. A four hit night followed by a 2 homer night is encouraging.
  • And speaking of guys getting healthy, Curtis Granderson walked and doubled and looks remarkably locked in.
  • Lastly, another nice outing for Clay Rapada who retired the last 4 hitters of the game.

Tigers 6, Yankees 2

114 thoughts on “Game 28: Tigers at Yankees”

  1. no granderson. i hope he is not hurt…i also hope they are not resting him, at least no jones in lf.

  2. I think Granderson should start against lefties, just not lead off. He’s never going to get better if he never sees them. I could see sitting him if it were Sabathia or Kazmir on the mound, but it’s Andy Pettitte, who isn’t exactly overpowering.

  3. I agree, how can you expect a player to hit lefties better if he never faces one?

    Also, Mr. Leyland – why oh why do you insist on batting Pudge leadoff against lefties?

    Prove me wrong tonight, Pudge.

  4. good god, pudge leading off. leyland trying to torture all of us with his cagey outside the box thinking.

  5. I really don’t get sitting Granderson tonight. Yes, he’s struggled against lefties in the past, but good Lord, he’s been a hitting machine since his return. At least give him the chance. And I don’t like Pudge leading off either, but who else do you want there? If it can’t be Grandy, that is.

  6. Anne, I don’t see anyone else leading off. That’s why you don’t sit Granderson. Lets see what the kid can do.

    Bonderman didn’t look too good against Damon. Hope that’s not a sign of how his night is going to go.

  7. Yankees broadcast listed Bonderman as 2-10 6.70 ERA in last 16 starts.
    Al Leiter laying Bonderman’s problem as pitching coaches convincing him to try and throw fastballs with more movement which, for Bonderman, sacrifices velocity. So the ball moves more up and down, but is not as fast.
    I have no earthly idea if this is true.

  8. You simply cannot win consistently with starting pitching that is this inconsistent and terrible.

    I take that back – for the most part (excluding Gallaraga) the starting pitching has been consistently crappy.

  9. John Flaherty saying Bonderman should work more on his fastball and perfecting change-up and forget about movement. Interesting, but again no idea if it is true.

  10. Bonderman – 27 pitches – 14 strikes – 13 balls

    Yeah, we’ll be needing some long relief tonight unless Bonderman suddenly can pitch strikes.

  11. eh…at least we got one back…guess Leyland thought he was temporarily in the senior circuit for the inning.

  12. Just got in and am in shock re Grilli trade. At least he goes out on a reasonably high note and still has a job.

    This ought to be a good one. Sure hope we win.

  13. I think the YES guys hate Cabrera, they just ripped him for not running to pick up the tapper from Abreu. Then they showed the replay that Cabrera was digging for it until Bonderman got there, so he held up to cover 1st base.

    And of course the YES guys backtracked completely: “oh, I gues he was running for it…”

    This after yesterday’s skewering for not running hard on a grounder to short, even though he has had legs probs all year.

    dumbarses.

  14. I’m waiting for Sheffield to fall flat on his bum after one of these off balance, wind-generating wiffs.

  15. Having Pudge bat leadoff here is not cagey outside of the box Leylandthink. This is standard Leylandthink. On the other hand, having Granderson hit leadoff against Pettitte would be out of the box thinking.

  16. With regard to Granderson sitting tonight, I don’t think he’ll sit against all lefties. Leyland said he was planning on catching Inge tomorrow night. When he’s gone to subs this year, he’s tried to do it so they are playing two nights in a row. With Inge set to play tomorrow night, and a lefty tonight, it just works out.

  17. bonderman only at 62 pitches, might be able to pull 7 outta him if he can get through the this next inning quick. lets do this!

  18. Left field, DH, or maybe president. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ok, the good news on Bonderman is he seems to have settled down since the 1st inning, and has only walked one batter so far tonight. The bad news: zero K’s. It’s like the invasion of the body snatchers–“Who are you and what have you done with Jeremy Bonderman.?”

  19. Nice answer there Bondo (and the Yankees). Tigers take the lead and the Yanks go down on 5 pitches.

  20. I have been dogging Sheff, but I must say he has looked alittle better these last 2 games.

  21. I gotta credit Thames. He sits the bench and comes in for the first time in forever and cracks a homer to leftfield at Yankee Stadium, and he probably threw Jeter out in the first inning, too.

  22. I will happily accept the version of Bonderman who has a bad first inning and then shuts the opposition down the rest of the way, as compared to what we have seen for most of this spring so far.

  23. I guess Pettitte deserved that pick-off after that weak dribbler scored a run. But man did Carlos look bad on that!

  24. Not to be crazy, do you think Leyland has ever considering starting someone else in the first inning and putting Bonderman in the second. Maybe only his buddy LaRussa would try something like that.

  25. For the Hernandez haters on the board, you have to give CH some love for (presumably) working with Bonderman to make the necessary adjustments after the first inning. Well done by both of them.

    Kids, we have back-to-back quality starts. Who’da thunk?

  26. Could Bonderman be our first starter to break the 4.0 ERA barrier this game?! Regardless, that’s a consecutive quality start, which is about time.

  27. A rough first inning I can live with, but 22 walks and only 17 K’s is not what I expect from Bondo. Through all his ups and downs, he’s usually had a K:BB ratio of 3:1 or better, and this season is all backward.

    That being said, I’ll take a performance like tonight anytime.

  28. Forget about quality starts, it’s wins that count. There is no such thing as an ugly win.

  29. You are right to some degree, PHT, but over a long season a team needs quality starting pitching in order to avoid giving the bullpen too much exposure. There’s generally a reason those guys aren’t starters.

    However, I agree to the extent that if Bonderman goes 6 innings and gives up 4 runs instead of 2 and we win the game, it doesn’t matter that he didn’t get the QS, he pitched effectively and we won.

    I guess I’m just saying you need to have your pitchers go deep into games on a pretty consistent basis. That will typically mean they are pitching well enough to win. If your starter can only average 3 innings per start, you won’t be getting many wins over a long season, as it’s pretty tough to constantly score that many runs to win.

  30. bonderman looking for his longest outing of the season. it stands at 6.1 right now, so getting through this inning will be a great day for him. even that much moreso after that ugly first.

  31. awesome! edit: mark, hes got a chance at a complete game if he can get through the 8th quick. hes gone like 20 pitches over the past 3 innings right? hes dealing right now. the yanks are swingin early though, just want to go home to bed it seems!

  32. honestly….with how Jones labored last night, why not try to have him go nine…or use one of the lefties to get matsui or giambi?

  33. Wow! Has Polanco ever had a multi-homer game? It certainly has to be the first time he’s done it back-to-back at bats.

  34. Yeah, you guys are all correct, Bondo could potentially finish this thing. The Yankees are doing hima a favor swinging so early in the count. To be fair, Bondo is throwing strikes, so he’s forcing them to swing early to some degree, but he’s got good movement and they aren’t squaring it up. I’d love to see him get the CG.

    Polly a 2-HR game?? Wow.

  35. Has Polanco ever hit 2 HR in a game before? Man, this lineup is going to be scary when it starts clickin’ on all cylinders.

  36. I really, really don’t want Sheffield stealing bases in a non-essential situations. He is too injury prone.

  37. I wouldn’t call this completely non-essential, it’s only a four run game. The Yankees are certainly capable of putting that up in one inning (even without A-Rod and Posada).

    I understand your point, though, I was holding my breath too. I noticed he didn’t slide head first like when he tore the tendon in his finger.

  38. Hopefully this just boosts Bonderman’s confidence and he gets that sour puss off his face.

  39. Oh goodness, I had to leave for several innings and just caught periodic updates. Last inning I watched was the 1st…and he’s only at 88 pitches in the 8th? Hats off to Bondo.

  40. would have been nice for a solid 8, but great showing for bonderman tonight. i would like to think my washing of his jersey helped a bit ๐Ÿ˜› great showing across the board for the entire team. lets close it out now

  41. Bondo’ at 100 pitches and Gameday has his fastball at 89MPH, so maybe he is running out of gas. Nevertheless, good outing and something to build on. Despite the lack of Ks there was a lack of BBs too – good sign.

  42. I agree with Joe Z that it would have been nice to see Bondo pitch through the end of the 8th. In fact, the way he was pitching, I would have liked to have seen him go the full game. But, he did throw 100 pitches. So, it did not surprise me that Leyland pulled him. Great job, Jeremy!

  43. Two things I love about tonights game

    1. Living in upstate all we hear about is the Yankees blah blah blah………. so its great to see them get a beat down.

    2. Farnsworth Dis’ed us a couple of years ago and he has not worked out at all for the stankees.

    >>> In fact the Yankees have helped us twice recently, first they took Carl Pavano off our hands when DD and Illich were hot to get him and now they have Farnsworth. Thanks for that Hank.

    Steve

  44. Has Granderson ever hit a ball hard to right/right-center field that was caught? I honestly can’t think of one time.

  45. Watching the MLB.tv netcast of the YES broadcast, and was irked a little bit by what the main announcer (don’t know his name) said regarding Granderson and his triples. He said something to the effect of:

    “Well, Comerica is a very triple friendly ballpark, and he gets out of the box quickly, so it’s not surprising he hits so many.”

    Alright, well, both of these are true, to an extent, as Comerica does have a large outfield, and Curtis is obviously fast, but when I heard this, I felt like he was overstating how much of a factor Comerica is for Granderson’s extra base hits, so I did some quick research, and here’s what I found.

    Of CG’s 23 triples last year, 10 came at home, and 13 were on the road. Similarly, of his 38 doubles, 18 came at home, while 20 came on the road. In both cases, he was more prolific on the road than he was at home.

    Now, this information is readily available to anyone, and probably moreso to professional braodcasters. I realize their job is predicated on their ability to make snap judgments and analysis, but in this case (and I’m sure, many others) he does himself and Granderson a disservice by taking the time to see if what he is saying actually has any factual merit. Research is a wonderful thing, especially in baseball; I wish more broadcasters felt the same way.

  46. Awesome job by Rapada tonight, too. Great finish to an outstanding Bondo start.

    Nate, let’s get the sweep tomorrow!

  47. I was actually relieved that Rollercoaster didn’t pitch tonight. I I don’t think can handle two days in arow at the amusement park.

    I’ll be going to the game here in Minne in Friday night. As much as I would like to see Galarraga pitch a complete game, I hope I get to see Rapada pitch as well.

  48. Bonderman’s ERA is now 3.86. Sweet sweet performance tonight. And caps off to Rapada for putting the Yanks away.

  49. Alex, I agree with your sentiment regarding announcers. I suspect it’s partly just laziness, but they have to constantly fill airtime and are bound to say some pretty silly things or make baseless claims from time to time.

    I guess if you’re going to fill airtime talking about the opposing team, at least do your homework ahead of time. Think of 15-20 things you can talk about, make a list, I don’t care. Just put some effort into it, man.

  50. Our Bullpen Rocks!

    Bonderman reaches his potential! Easily the best pitched game of the year by one of our starters.

  51. We have a very good chance of sweeping tomorrow. Kennedy is struggling just as much as Hughes. With the Yankees deteriorated, left-handed lineup, Robertson should have it a little easier.

    We’re only two games behind .500 and two games behind Chicago, so it’s been a great April recovery.

  52. Alex:

    I agree with you 100%, but consider this: since when has the mainstream media (regardless of the area that they are covering), been interested in “facts?” Since you are obviously an intelligent and informed baseball fan, my advice is to turn off the audio portion of the broadcast and save yourself the annoyance of having to listen to the so-called “experts.” Instead, keep your internet connection at the hand, so that you can access all that info at a mouse-click or two, while at the same timekeeping a tab open at detroittigersweblog.com., of course.

  53. Alex: I have to deal with Michael Kay (the Yankees propaganda play by play guy) almost every day. he is terrible. he essentially makes stuff up about the other teams to make it sound like he’s informed. he is really really really really bad. last night he was incensed when cabrera hit a hard ball right at the third baseman and didn’t run hard. kay was incredulous and inferred miggy was dogging it, when in fact we all know he’s had leg problems all season.

  54. The Yankees seem to be down and hopefully we can kick them tomorrow while they are. It looks like we will put some runs up, but the big question is whether Robertson can avoid a 4 or 5 run inning.

  55. Chris – I disagree that Bonderman reached his potential tonight. His potential is basically tonight’s game with 10 strikeouts instead of 1. But I can’t complain. If he keeps pitching this well, I’m sure the strikeouts will come back.

  56. Good win tonight! I just love to see the yankees lose. Go Tigers!! Bye Grilli. Good luck pitching at that pitcher friendly park in Colorado.

  57. Nicely done Tigers!

    I smell a sweep…

    Now, what to do with Guillen (weak link in the infield) – Inge is clearly the better third baseman. Can’t we use 2 DH’s?

    A couple days ago I was writing off Sheffy and thinking Guillen would be a natural fit at DH to get Inge back at third but now Sheffy seems to be finding his stride…

  58. I am actually impressed with the way Bonderman turned it around. Starting out so ineffective can’t help your confidence any, but he didn’t seem to affected by it.

  59. Yum! I’m eating crow this morning and washing it down with my coffee. I really didn’t expect Bonderman to turn it around (see my snarky post after the first inning) and I tip my cap to him.

    I really thought I would check the box score this morning and see the Tigers on the short end of a lopsided score. Nice surprise. ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. 13-15 never felt so good. I was too tired for the game last night. Sorry I missed such a great one, but I also don’t think I could have made it to work today if I had.

    FREE MARCUS THAMES is right. Give him left field, Jim. Please please please.

  61. Rod Allen on Curtis last night: “He is an extra base machine!” that made me chuckle.

    Also Leyland went out to the mound in the first inning to talk to Bondo after he started out so shaky, but in the postgame he said “you don’t want to know what I said to him, and it doesn’t matter.” But it sure did seem to matter, and now I’m dying to know what he said!

    Great job to Bondo indeed. I know sometimes he’s a headcase but he seemed to pull it all together last night, and I was shocked to see him take care of the yankees 1-2-3 in the 7th. Hopefully we can keep building on these improving pitching performances.

  62. What Leyland said to Bonderman:

    “There’s this thing called the strike zone. Ever hear of it? They have one in Toledo, too. Might be easier to find there, I don’t know.”

    That’s what inside sources tell me, anyway. Sources inside me, not baseball.

  63. Leyland said, “I came here to smoke some cigarettes and kick some butt. Steinbrenner confiscated my cigarettes in the dugout so I’m all out of smokes. Unless you’ve got some Marlboros hiding in the rosin bag you’d better start to find the strike zone.”

  64. Leyland said:

    โ€œโ€ฆyou may not have heard yet, but the Tigers just traded their favorite whipping boy to the Rockies. There is now a vacuum in universe that need be filled, and right now youโ€™re auditioning for the jobโ€ฆโ€

  65. Leyland said:

    “…I’ve got to start the worst fourth starter in the league tomorrow night, I need this game….start throwin’ a few strikes will ya?”

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