illustration by Samara Pearlstein
I enjoy it when the starting pitcher frolicks merrily with the baseball. Especially when that pitcher has had a rather, shall we say, checkered relationship with said baseball in the past. Regardless of what has gone before, they are the best of friends right now, and it is so good to see.
I don’t even care that he wasn’t wicked incredibly efficient. This is Jeremy Bonderman, after all– not Justin Verlander. He has his own special set of pitching issues.
There’s nothing quite like walking the bases loaded, and then hitting a batter to score a run. That’s, you know, pretty bad pitching. Like ‘an example we should show the minor leaguers to scare them into doing their homework’ kind of bad. Eat your broccoli, children, or you too will have an inning like Bondo’s third today.
But he overcame that inning. Unbelievably, he did not issue another base on balls after that third-inning-RBI-HBP. It’s as if he just totally lost the feel for the ball, then stepped back, took a deep breath, and willed himself back on track. We have been almost as concerned with the mental aspect of Bondo’s game as we have been with his variety of physical issues. So this was stupidly, amazingly encouraging to see.
Pitching that makes RotT happy two days in a row? I dunno if that can possibly last, but by Paws! I will suck all the enjoyment out of it while I can.