photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
So I was watching my cousin’s baseball game (Go Walled Lake Central Vikings!), and someone said that the Tigers were down 7-1 in the 4th, all the runs given up by Bondo. “Uh oh,” I thought to myself. “Bondo finally got tired of everyone BLOWING HIS GAMES for him, and decided to take matters into his own hands and blow one himself.”
Then we heard that a lot of those runs weren’t earned. “Oh holy cats,” I thought. “They’ve done it again. I don’t believe it, but they’ve done it again.” I was going to have to use the Bondo got screwed photo.
Turns out only two of the runs were unearned. That’s still pretty much unacceptable, but Bondo had this to say:
“I deserved to lose today, but it’s fun to be a part of this team because no one ever gives up,” Bonderman said. “I’m proud of the guys and how hard they fought to come back from 7-0. I mean, we could have easily given in. It’s impressive. We’ve got some of the best guys in baseball on our team, so it’s fun to watch them fight and never give up. It kind of reflects out manager.”
ESPN game recap
So, OK. If Bondo feels like he “deserved to lose today,” then I can’t very well use the Bondo-got-screwed photo. Of course then you get Leyland’s take on it…
“Bonderman has pitched well for us, we just haven’t gotten anything for him,” said manager Jim Leyland.
“He pitch[ed] well today,” Leyland said. “He made a bad pitch in the first, but we didn’t make the plays behind him.”
official site recap
…did Bondo pitch well, or did he not pitch well? I’m afraid I don’t know, having not seen a lick of it. I would venture to guess that Leyland is spouting off because he’s as annoyed that Bondo doesn’t have a win yet as we all are, and that Bondo was more or less responsible for his own game… THIS time.
It seems that if Bondo has trouble of his own making, it’s almost always early, usually in the first inning, and that’s exactly what happened here. I’m still not sure why this is, but it’s perplexingly consistent. There’s got to be SOMEthing we can do to trick Bondo into having that terrible first inning BEFORE the game starts, out in the bullpen or somesuch harmless place. Anyways, to give credit where credit is due, Gary Matthews Jr. was a sicknasty hitter last year, Cabby can be a scrapper when he puts his mind to it (as Boston fans know full well [ha ha I just called a player ‘scrappy’, someone shoot me in the FACE]), and Vlad Guerrero is… Vlad Guerrero. He’s gonna get his hits, it’s just a matter of which poor quivering mass of pitcher is going to be the one to give it up. Bondo usually handles him better than most, but you still have to assume that hitting, for Guerrero, is not an ‘if’, but is instead a ‘when’ kinda deal.
Still, two errors in quick succession by Carlos Guillen is extremely NOT COOL (to put it in official baseball parlance). Carlos, you are a defensive WHIZ. And that doesn’t mean that you pee on the defense; it means that you are GOOD AT PLAYING THE DEFENSIVE POSITION THAT YOU ARE ASSIGNED. Currently: SHORTSTOP. Review some TAPE, Carlos. You KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I suggest that you make an effort to REMEMBER THIS.
Even more sickening than all this, though, is the way in which we ultimately lost this game. To come ALL the way back, the offense FINALLY deciding to do something nice for Bondo… and. to. lose it. in the TENTH. because ROLLERCOASTER JONES. committed an ERROR…
*insert much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments here*
It wasn’t Jonesy’s fault that Guerrero hit a ground-rule double. Like I said before, Guerrero is basically just a hitter that you have to accept as a constant danger. So he hit a double; we should be happy it wasn’t a home run. It was, however, Jonesy’s duty to pitch to the mortal members of the Angels’ lineup, and it was his duty, as closer, to get those diaper-wearing-monkey-loving-multiple-city-claiming dudes out.
Or, you know, throw a ball so sharply into the dirt that even Pudge (eleventy-billion-time Gold Glove catcher Pudge Rodriguez!) can’t corral it, allowing Guerrero to score.
AFTER a minor miracle had occurred in the form of Fernando Rodney pitching and somehow managing to NOT vomit orange stripey bile all over the game.
AFTER Gary Sheffield decided to stop having a bat made of lose and fail and tiny lacy doilies, and actually started hitting like he allegedly can.
AFTER Granderson and Magglio both homered.
AFTER coming from way behind to make it a possible Tigers win.
Todd Jones throws a junk ball, trips uselessly over Guerrero’s diving form at home, and we go on to lose the game– on more pitches given up by Todd Jones.
“I [messed] the whole game up,” Jones said, “I blew it in the ninth and gave it up in the 10th.”
official site recap
I’m glad he’s so self-aware.
Nasssssty errorses, precious, we hates them, they burnsss us precious, they burrrrrnnnnsss us. They makes our walrus mustacheses droops, precious, droops like dead fishes.
And now the team has to fly all the way back to Chicago. Plenty of time to gnaw on that one, eh?