Over the weekend, I left an open thread where people could post their predictions for the second half. Most people agreed that Bonderman would have a great second half for the Tigers. After all, he was coming off a stretch of 7 starts where he allowed 2 or fewer runs in each game. He also was second in the league in FIP ERA, 4th in strike outs per game and had allowed the fewest home runs per game in the league, all great indicators of future success. Today, against the weakest team in the league, he pitched his worse game since May allowing 7 hits, 5 walks and 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings. This included home runs by Tony Graffanino and Mark Teahen. That shows how much we know....I'm not backing away from my prediction though.
Unlike many previous games (he had only 3 victories in his last 7 starts), Bonderman received plenty of support from his teammates. The Tigers were down 4-0 after 3 1/2 but they came back to win 6-4 and Bonderman got the victory. Ivan Rodriguez started the Tiger scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th. The Tigers then broke through for 5 runs in the 5th on an assortment of seeing eye singles and a Royal errors. Steve Grilli, Fernando Rodney, Joel Zumaya and Todd Jones combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings to seal the victory.
The other thought shared by many on the weekend prediction thread was that Kenny Rogers and/or Nate Robertson would slide in the second half as they have in recent years. Does this mean that we should expect those two two have outstanding outings their next time out? We'll find out about Robertson when he faces Jimmy Gobble on Saturday night. Rogers, who pitched two innings in Tuesday's all-star game, is not scheduled to pitch in the Royal series. Instead, he will likely pitch the first game of the Chicago White Sox series on Tuesday. The pitching match-ups for the rest of the Royal series look like this:
Friday - Mark Redman vs. Zach Miner
Saturday - Jimmy Gobble vs. Nate Robertson
Sunday - Scott Elarton vs. Justin Verlander