Matsuzaka walks a million, but Bondo's the one who suffers

photo by Samara Pearlstein

It is KILLING me to not be able to show you guys the view I had from my seat tonight yet. I didn’t get a lot of player shots, because we were fairly high up, but ohhhhh the view. Just wait ’til I get back to MA and upload these puppies. You’re gonna plotz. ‘Til then, you get the standard RotT ‘My name is Jeremy Bonderman and I hate life’ photo.

T’was a gorgeous night for a ballgame no matter where you were sitting. Perfect temperature, no rain, no wind. It’s really hard to beat that.

Bondo did not look super terrible for most of the game. The problem with the Red Sox is that you don’t have to look super terrible to get your tail bitten, you just have to make one or two bad pitches, and that’s essentially what Bondo did. He didn’t get eaten up by balls and infield hits, he was slammed by a couple of doubles and a couple of home runs. It’s not as though he was getting nickeld and dimed to death with a series of poorly located pitches. He made a couple of bad pitches in a couple of innings and he paid for them.

Like I’ve said before, though, 4 runs should not be an insurmountable lead for this lineup. Look at what the Red Sox did: their starting pitcher struggled hard and walked 8 guys in 5 innings, their relievers came in and put men on then let them score, and they made enough big hits to make up for that damage. Obviously you can’t win EVERY game like that, but it’s kind of the POINT of a massive offense, isn’t it, to let you get an occasional win even when the pitching gives up a middling number of runs?

You can’t put it all on the bats, though. I heard a horrifying stat on the radio while we were driving to the ballpark… apparently, in games where the Tigers score less than 5 runs, their record this season is 0-15; 0-16 now with this game. That is AWFUL. That means that the pitching staff is not giving the bats any support at all when they collectively have an off night (or, you know… off week, off month).

The Tigers should be able to get 6 runs in a game. But they should also be able to hold opposing teams to, say, 3 runs in a game. Nobody is doing what they need to be doing, and when they do get it done, they’re out of synch: the offense gets the bats going a little and the pitching collapses, or the pitching picks up and the bats go MIA.

This was just a frustrating kind of game any way you slice it. It was frustrating to watch Bondo get bitten by the home run bug twice. It was frustrating to watch the Tigs leave something like 11 men stranded on base, and to see all those walks come to nothing.

It WAS kinda cool to see Matt Joyce up with the big league, takin’ his cuts. No hits for the kid yet, but he did have a walk in the first inning, so hey, that’s something. I’m sure I ought to feel something in particular about the fact that Jacque Jones was DFA’d, but I can’t summon up the energy to even care that much right now.

I’m super tired (5 games in 4 days so far!) and have no particular ideas about how to end this one, so I’ll just point out that when someone was on the radio after the game calling in to say that, “Leyland doesn’t have any answers,” I misheard and thought he said, “Leyland doesn’t have any hamsters.”

I think maybe this is the root of the problem in the Tigers clubhouse. Simply not enough hamsters.

5 responses to “Matsuzaka walks a million, but Bondo's the one who suffers

  1. I have a fever and the only prescription is more hamsters!
    Or something.
    Out of synch. Carlos gets his Error spazzasaurus taken care of, and it goes off to attack Renteria. Grr.

  2. Back in the cellar. Frustrating.
    But yeah, hamsters might be the thing. It could teach these guys some responsibility, and some real-world coping skills. Maybe if Gary Sheffield learns to care for something outside of himself, something small and vulnerable and fluffy, it will calm him and center him, and he will have one last late-career surge of awesomeness. Maggs could let them nest in his hair! And, you know, sometimes having a pet is a way for a ballplayer to learn important lessons about the cycle of life. Picture Leyland explaining to Verlander and Zumaya why Mr. Sparkles keeps trying to climb on Princess Hamsterella, or how Furball had to go away to a beautiful tube-filled place where there is no more suffering. Finally, this team can begin to truly grow.

  3. Hamsters? Maybe… I’m not sure, but at this point I’m willing to get on board.
    Hamsters in the outfield and hamsters painted on giant banners. Each player could get his own in a little terrarium at the top of his locker. Learning to care for the little guys might help promote teamwork?

  4. Hopefully the Tigers will be doing ok soon enough. I heard Rod and Mario talking tonite about Grandy needing a bit of “Fluff” on him after that catch last night, and that he was on Men’s Health magazine.

  5. I just want you guys to know that, if things continue in this fashion, I’ll definitely be whipping up some hamster imagery as soon as I get internet back on my laptop again. For sure.

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