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Open Thread - Game 134: Tigers (71-62) vs. Royals (59-72)

Jeremy Bonderman (10-7, 4.87) vs. Leo Nunez (2-1, 3.00), 2:10 p.m. EST

On paper, this looks like it should be a serious mismatch in favor of the Detroit Tigers. But the Tigers have been shredding that paper for the past month, and one of the guys who's been feeding stacks of reams into the shredder is Jeremy Bonderman. Since mid-July, Bondo's gone from one of the Tigers' pitching cornerstones to a horror movie that makes women and children cover their eyes in fear. He hasn't won in his last eight starts, and perhaps worst of all, Bonderman puts his team at a disadvantage from the very start, hemorrhaging runs in the first inning.

And if he starts out badly again today, the Tigers probably have no choice but to leave him out there. After using both Jason Grilli and Zach Miner in extended outings the last two games, Detroit doesn't have another long reliever to eat up innings if Bonderman gets shelled early. So he'll likely go five or six innings, no matter what. But maybe today's the day to end some bad streaks. In two starts against Kansas City this season, Bonderman has given up three runs in 13 innings, and over his career, Bondo has an 8-5 record with a 3.98 ERA.

As is the case with Zach Greinke, the Royals are trying to figure out if Leo Nunez helps them more as a starter or a reliever. For now, he's starting. And up until his last start, Nunez was doing a pretty good job of it. The White Sox roughed him up for four runs and six hits (two of them home runs) in four innings. It was easily his worst outing of the season, as Nunez had allowed just five runs in his previous 23 innings. Nunez has a tendency to give up the long ball, however (five in 27 innings), so maybe the Tigers can take him deep a couple of times today and put some runs on the board.

UPDATE: Timo Perez is batting 3rd in the lineup today as the DH. This is truly beginning to defy all forms of logic.