Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What's with Bonderman?

There are a number of excuses that could have been made for Jeremy Bonderman Tuesday. It started raining. The fielding behind him was not good. The Mariners did not hit the ball hard, but a few balls found holes anyway. None of them fit, however, because not holding a lead has become the norm for Bonderman. He is not delivering when he is needed most by his team. Bonderman has not emerged as many - including myself - thought he would as the Tigers´┐Ż ace. And it could be costly to the Tigers in the long run.

Random thoughts

- There is no excuse for Magglio Ordonez not running harder to second base on the key play during the eighth inning Tuesday. He looked back, and should not have. It was a bad play because it represented a lack of hustle. He should have gone all out even if it appeared initially as if no one was covering second base.

- Andrew Miller took the loss for the Tigers Tuesday, but he threw well. It would not surprise me if he plays a relatively prominent role for the Tigers down the stretch.

- I find Ichiro Suzuki to be a fascinating and fabulous player. He is incredibly graceful and does everything well. I know he did much of his best work early in his career while playing in his native Japan, but he is, in my opinion, a Hall of Fame player. I will definitely put him on my ballot.

- I wonder if Ryan Howard is the product of a tremendous left-handed power stroke, or more the creation of a too-small ball park in Philadelphia. Barry Bonds, at his peak a few years ago, would have hit 90 home runs playing his home games in that band box. That thing belongs in Williamsport, not Philly.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Muhme said...

Ichiro is hands down my favorite non-pitcher to watch play the game. I love his mindset at the plate. His jump out of the batters box is amazing. I think he deserves a lot more pub for what he does.

Pat I hope that you will give a preview of the O$U/Texa$ game in your next blog...I am very anxious to hear your thoughts...

9:11 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Muhme,
Yeah, he jumped out of the box like you said on his base hit during the opening inning Tuesday. The other thing he does exceptionally well is throw. He reminds me of Roberto Clemente the way he plays right field.
Caputo

10:16 AM 
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

Pat,

You beat me to the punch on your comments about Bonderman. Everyone was so worried about Rogers fading in the second half, but "Bondo" is the one that's faltered. And this isn't a new trend. If you look at his record, he has done the same exact thing the past several years. I'm not sure what it is ... he certainly has the stuff to do well consistently. But he had no business struggling against Seattle last night. They have a few good hitters, sure. But, overall, they're a mediocre team at best -- a team he has got to beat in the middle of a pennant race in September. There's no excuse.

10:46 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thinkingman,
Actually, in 2004, Bonderman closed very strongly and started out well in 2005. He should have been on the All Star team. Then he faded and closed the season out because of an arm injury. He got hit on the pitching arm with a line drive and it was thought that was the reason he slowed during the second half. This is just flat out puzzling. There is no explanation for it. On the postgame show last night, somebody called up and said Bonderman reminded him of Jeff Weaver. There is nothing about Bonderman's work habits or demeanor that are like those of Weaver. Just the results lately. I think Bonderman should be one of the best pitchers in baseball and I honestly don't know why he isn't. But remember this: There is nearly a month left in the season. If he performs well from this point on, all will be forgotten.
Caputo

11:49 AM 
Anonymous Rob said...

Is there anything Ichiro can't do? He is a true 5-Tool player even though he's doesn't display his power often. It's too bad Seattle couldn't keep all of their great players around him.

Where did Raul Ibanez come from? This guy was a solid player in KC, but he has really turned into a good producer, on a team without much production. Is it Ichiro inflating Ibanez's RBI totals? Perhaps the Tigers big boppers could benefit from a true leadoff hitter?

12:21 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rob,
Ibanez was going to be one those left-handed hitters available at the trade deadline until he took off this year. He has gone from a good hitter to one of the best left-handed hitters in the American League. He's kind of been a left-handed version of Jermaine Dye.
Caputo

5:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

metrodome- tigers strength up the middle. Too bad for DY. Just heard on your radio show. Don't think we will but thr tigs could come out of Minn. 2-2. Minn. the ghost of Bud Graant! I don't think they will go too far it would be nice to see them beat Minn. vinny.

8:08 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I think every team in the top 25 should put a OSU/Texas type game into there schedules. Probably would be one of my favorite games all year. I don't like either tream but I love college football and love to see the great matchups.

Wow what the hell did D. Young do? Did he have a relapse or something. I don't believe it was based on performance. I thought he has been hitting pretty damn well since back on the team. Yeah he looked like crap yesterday, but if that is the case cut the whole team because they all been hitting like crap. Except Monroe. And an occasional team mate here and there. Tigers in my mind needed to take this series against the Ms and should have take nthe series against the Angels. Better to go into minnesota on a 4 game set up 5 or 6 games as oppose to 4.

9:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Vinny,
Look, that was just too weird with Young getting released right after the game like that. Something had to happen. There was a lot of concern when he returned that it might mess with the unique chemistry the team had developed. Seems like they realized it had. Lately the Tigers have played like the 2005 version instead of the 2006 edition. One thing about this weekend in Minnesota - the pitching matchups clearly favor the Tigers.
Caputo

9:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
Nobody is hitting on this team. It's time for Ordonez and Pudge to step forward and earn the $27 million combined the Tigers are paying them for this season.
Caputo

9:09 PM 
Blogger Daver said...

I agree with you on Ichiro. I was there, for the first 4 innings anyways and have the cold to prove i was there. It was awesome to see him track down the ball Granderson hit in the 1st. It is rare that Ichiro turns his back to the ball; he is that quick. but he did almost get to the wall while playing shallow center. Indeed the best outfielder playing the game today.

Bonderman gets my vote for the bad news bear award. I don't know if he's just unlucky or plain awful. he pitched well enough to have a 3-1 lead at the rain delay, but our top pitcher shouldn't get excused because of a few errors. he has a track record this second half that leaves me concerned about the playoffs, provided we even get there at all now. i am not jumping ship, but are these fellas just plateauing or losing focus of what got them here...great pitching and timely hitting?

9:32 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

The loss of polanco is really showing I believe. That guy all he did was get on base and be a monster when guys are in scoring position. GUillen and Polanco need to come back if they do I think we will be ok.

ANother quick thing. When will the tigers put Perez back on a raft out of here? Guy sucks.

What is the books scoop on D.Y.

9:36 PM 
Blogger Ken said...

Twins lose, 4-2 to Devil Rays.

White Sox about to win, they are up, 8-1 in the bottom of the 9th in Boston.

Marlins throw a no-hitter tonight, winning, 2-0. Looks like the only way the Tigers can win is if we throw a no-hitter. (I hope not.)

9:58 PM 
Blogger I rule said...

If you've caught the subtle message behind Leyland's recent remarks, it's been about displaying some patience and getting good pitches to hit. DY swings at everything and evidently didn't hear the message. He struck out twice today and popped out with the bases juiced and one out. The California series wasn't any better. I'd say the team needed a wake up call and Dmitri turned out to be it. Let's hope it has the intended effect.

10:01 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Daver,
You're a great baseball fan to go to that game and sit through that rain. Ichiro fell on that ball by Monroe and it was, ah, different. I think he is much better in right than in center.
Caputo

1:17 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Ken,
Sometimes it just seems to me like the Tigers are a team of dystiny. I know they built a big lead early this season and the cushion helps, but they have been awful lately at the plate. A lot of times, a team in a collective slump like the Tigers are going through, will lose their lead very quickly. Minnesota had beaten Tampa Bay 15 straight times, had a 2-0 lead late and the Twins' bullpen is excellent. It was a huge break for the Tigers the Devil Rays rallied to win that game.
Caputo

1:21 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I Rule,
I don't know what happened. I can only speculate and won't do that. I'm pretty sure about this - Young wasn't just released because they didn't think he could hit anymore. That was too sudden.
Caputo

1:23 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Maddog52,
I have a feeling Perez is here to stay. I have no big scoop on DY. I'm as puzzled as anybody about it.
Caputo

1:25 AM 
Anonymous atomicrod said...

Pat, thanks for pointing out some problems with Magglio. I think this is the start of what a lot of Tigers fans feared when they gave him such a long contract, that the team would eventually be saddled with a slow fading player. No one will take him in a trade and he's still owed a ton of money. The ball he allowed to drop in front of him which gave the Angles a tie game with 2 out in the 9th was just terrible. If you stop running three steps, pause for a split second and have the ball almost hit your foot, no excuses it should have been caught. His hitting approach in several games has been a race to see how fast he can make an out no matter the situation.

Even a split in Minnesota could put the Tigers back in a decent position, but I feel at some point Jim Leyland needs to explain some of the moves he's made since August 1st. Baseball Prospectus has shown that stat wise, Neifi Perez is one of the bottom 3 players to ever play the game of baseball and Leyland has had him leading off twice and hitting 2nd. In addition he's been slow on the basepaths and shakey in the field. Sean Casey has a good track record of being a decent hitter so I have to believe he's hurt to be preforming as badly has he has the last week or so, yet knowing that Leyland twice allowed him to bat with the game on the line yesterday and the day before.

I just hope we don't have to have a winter where we talk about just how golden of an opportunity the Tigers let get away. Cleveland will be better next year, Chicago will still be good, Minnesota has a young pitching staff to rival the Tigers and Kansas City is starting to get it figured out. The odds on getting this close again next year won't be as good.

3:13 PM 
Blogger Trtune said...

Pat:

1. Orodnez on 8/31 against Texas rounds third wide and does not slide at home. He is out and Tigers lose 7-6.
2. Saturday 9th inning Ordonez does not dive for the ball and the game is tied and eventually lost.
Also Ordonez ended the game with a dropped third strike. The catcher had to chase Ordonez down to tag him out. He almost reached the dugout before he was tagged out.
3. Now against Saettle Ordonez does not slide and is tagged out at 2nd.

Now I understand why Ozzie can't stand this guy. Leyland called him out a little but I think Sparky would put the screws to this guy more.

5:13 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Trtune,
I have mostly defended Mags lately. I don't think he has played well - as you pointed out, but I think he is a good player who has been productive. I don't understand why he is the scapegoat for all the Tigers' problems. He isn't the only one who has slumped.
Caputo

5:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Atomicrod,
Good point about next year. The Tigers could have a much better team next year and not be in this position. They have to take advantage of the opportunity while it presents itself.
Caputo

6:01 PM 

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