photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
We are going to have the best-fed Spazzosaurus in all of baseball at this rate. Other teams may allow their Spazzosauri to feed every so often, but we are handing pitchers over to the Spazzosaurus one after the other. No wonder they’ve all been spazzing out lately, and no wonder the scores have accordingly reflected that.
The first inning, with Bondo, is always the Danger Zone. We all know this. If you remember this thread, you’ll remember that someone had done some fancy chartwork for us all, and had noted that Bondo threw mostly fastballs in the first inning, not mixing in his offspeed stuff until later.
In this game, I kept track of what he threw for the first few batters, and it was almost exclusively fastballs. In fact, I think the first NONfastball I saw him throw was a changeup to Garrett Anderson… the fourth batter of the inning… after he had already thrown 2 fastballs to him for balls. And that’s after he had allowed a single and a double on all those fastballs (and a K, but you know). After a while I stopped keeping track, because so many damn batters came up during the first inning and it just got depressing, but the point is that he’s doing it again. Fastball fastball fastball, which the opposing team just feasts on, until eventually his soul is so broken down that he starts mixing some offspeed stuff in, I guess.
We have an idea of what’s going on with Bondo. But this still doesn’t tell us WHY. Why, for instance, is his fastball so incredibly sucktacular in the first inning? When he’s on he can spot it pretty well, so….. why isn’t he ever on in the first? And why, why, WHY does he insist on throwing so many fastballs in the first inning, when this trend (throw tons of fastballs early= get roughed up) is so obvious by now that even internet gremlin-y bloggin’ folk are picking up on it?
“It wasn’t really something that I was really expecting today,” [Bonderman] said. “Felt good in the bullpen. My arm felt great, so I was really looking forward to coming out and trying to give us a lift. Obviously, it went the other way. I just kind of added onto the fire, threw a little kerosene on it and let the sucker burn. It was not pretty, man.”
“Just wasn’t locating,” Bonderman said. “When I fell behind, I left the ball over the plate too much. I was trying to create things before it happened.”
No, you don’t say?
The inability to locate is a clear case of Spazzosaurus nibbles. But the Spazzosaurus, for all his influence, does not make anyone throw fastballs vs. sliders vs. changeups. The Spazzosaurus doesn’t care what anyone throws, so long as they throw it badly enough to make the thrower start to emit more and more spazz-energy out of nervousness and a sense of overwhelming failure. So even though Bondo is VERY OBVIOUSLY suffering in the loving embrace of the Spazzosaurus (see image for incontrovertible proof), this still does not explain why he throws all those fastballs in the first inning, again and again, despite the endless reams of evidence showing that this does not work for him.
DEEP BREATH. DEEP BREATH.
Angry-making hilarity: Chad Durbin came in with the bases loaded and Vlad Guerrero up to bat. Pudge called for a ball away. Durbin lost control of the pitch, which rode in and hit Vlad, forcing in a run. Did anyone in the UNIVERSE think that was intentional? What sort of idiot would intentionally force in a run in a game that looked bad but was still, at that point, in the early and (with our sometime-offense) changeable stage? Apparently Ed Montague thought that the Tigers were exactly that sort of idiot, because he came trotting out right away to point fingers and sternly issue warnings.
For an obviously unintentional pitch.
I laugh now. At that time I just became even more infuriated at the stupidity of it all.
“If Justin Verlander is the show pony… then Jeremy Bonderman is the work horse.”
Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, Kenny Rogers is back on the DL, this time with inflammation in his pitching elbow. On the one hand, this is good, because it explains his last couple of starts, which means that Kenny doesn’t stink at pitching, his elbow just stinks at being healthy. On the other hand, well, he’s back on the DL. Crabnuggets.