Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tigers Sweep Cards

The Tigers completed a three game sweep by defeating the Cardinals 4-1 today as over 40,000 fans packed Comerica Park for the 3rd straight day. Jeremy Bonderman pitched another excellent game today allowing just 1 run on 7 hits while striking out 8 in 7 innings of work. He now has a 1.77 ERA for the month of June. His game log is shown below:

Table: Jeremy Bonderman’s Starts in June

Date

Team

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

6/3

BOS

7.2

4

2

2

2

6

6/9

@ TOR

6

6

3

2

3

6

6/14

TB

8

6

1

1

1

12

6/19

@ MIL

7

4

1

1

3

12

6/25

STL

7

7

1

1

1

8

Total

5 games

35.2

27

8

7

10

44


Bonderman was backed by some outstanding fielding by Brandon Inge. Inge made a diving stop on a ball hit down the third base line by Gary Bennett in the fourth and then threw to first from his knees to get the out. In the fifth inning, Inge made another diving stop on a ball hit down the line by Albert Pujols. Inge could not make the throw this time but he did rob Pujols of a probable extra base hit and RBI which would have broke the tie. Bonderman also got support from Jim Leyland who comes out to the mound to talk to Bonderman in tough spots more than another pitcher. Each talk seems to be followed by an inning ending out. It happened again today a couple of times.

Bonderman did not get much support from his offense however, at least not while he was in the game. Starting pitcher Sidney Ponson allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks over the firt 7 innings. The one run came when Ivan Rodriguez doubled and scored on a single by Magglio Ordonez in the 4th. The score was 1-1 after 7 innings.

The big Tiger rally did not come until the 8th. Alexis Gomez led off with a bloop single against Ponson. Vance Wilson sacrificed Gomez to second. Brandon Inge then beat out an infield hit moving Gomez to third. As he did last night, Tony LaRussa brought in a lefty (this time it was Randy Flores) to pitch to the left-handed Curtis Granderson and again the move did not work.
Granderson smashed a double over center fielder Jim Edmond's head to score the go ahead run. Inge was thrown out at the plate. Placido Polanco doubled and Ivan Rodriguez singled to add two insurance runs. Todd Jones pitched a quiet 9th to seal the victory.

I watched the game with my father again today. He can gloat about his team with the best of them but all he could say after this series was: "Congratulations. The Tigers have an outstanding team." A tour around internet news sites, blogs and message boards shows that he is just one of many around the country who now believes that the Tigers are for real. Pennant fever has gripped Detroit and fans around the country know it.

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