The Detroit Tigers fell to the Minnesota Twins 6-2, but the story of the game was the struggles of rookie fire-baller Bruce Rondon. The Tigers sent the big right-hander back to Triple-A Toledo after the loss, calling up lefty Luke Putkonen in his stead.
Jim Leyland said he just couldn't get Rondon enough work, he needs to close out games, and it's hoped Rondon will make adjustments. The Tigers' skipper added this experience will be good for him.
Rondon entered the game in the top of the seventh and quickly committed a couple of relief-pitcher Cardinal sins.
One, Rondon didn't shut down the Twins after his teammates cut the lead to one run in the previous inning. He gave back a run only two batters into his short appearance.
Two, Rondon could not throw strikes, walking the bases loaded before getting the hook. Darin Downs was unable to bail out Rondon completely, allowing one of the inherited runners to score. Regardless, the game was all but over after Rondon's adventurous appearance.
Let's not forget Rondon allowed another stolen base as well, showing a complete inability to hold runners in his short time in the big leagues.
When all was said and done, Rondon's line was ugly: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB. He heads back to Triple-A with an ERA of 11.57.
For all the talk of Rondon having an elite fastball, if it doesn't move, it's extremely hittable. We've yet to see that movement on Rondon's pitches; the Twins were showing they were fully capable of turning on a triple-digit pitch that is arrow straight, as would any other MLB team.
The Tigers often speak glowingly about Rondon, their reigning minor league pitcher of the year, but he did not make any converts within the Tigers' fan base today.
See you Friday at the Hens game, Bruce.— Scott Rogowski (@DNR_Rogo) May 1, 2013
Rondon (soft ON) is a sloppy mess right now.— Detroit4lyfe (@Detroit4lyfe) May 1, 2013
Rondown. RT @tonypaul1984: Rondon is not ready. He needs to go back down.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) May 1, 2013
They weren't any more complimentary in the BYB game thread:
A 101 MPH fastball down the middle... …is still a fastball down the middle.
The only thing he's 'closer' is ‘closer’ to being sent back to Toledo
10 of 14 pitches thrown for balls.... This guy ain’t ready
Rondon just isn't fooling big-league hitters.
Bruce Rondon's throwing 101. In 17 pitches, he got zero swinging strikes.— Dave Hogg (@Stareagle) May 1, 2013
With that, Rondon heads back to the minor leagues. The kid just wasn't ready, despite the Tigers continually insisting Rondon has been since the end of last season.
Saying so doesn't make it so.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
Before the game, Matthew B. Mowery of The Oakland Pess got an interesting quote out of Jim Leyland, comparing popping pimples to waiting for an injury to heal. Neither are ready till they're ready.
"You get a pimple, it ain’t going to pop until it comes to a head. That’s just the way it is. You can squeeze it until the cows come home, but it ain’t going to come out."
Omar Infante was given the day off, resting a tweaked knee. Obviously, Phil Coke was unavailable out of the pen due to being placed on the DL this morning.
Detorit Lions running back and Michigan native Joique Bell threw out the first pitch. He tweeted his strategy.
RT @joiquebell: Right b4 I threw the 1st pitch @ the Tigers game today. I decided to go with the #Heater can never go wrong there— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) May 1, 2013
Denard Robinson take heed.
Melissa's nearly three-year-old nephew breaks down Tigers-Twins mid-game:
My almost 3-year-old nephew analysis of the Tigers: "That man just swung the bat and hit a home ball team ... (1 of 2)— Melissa Heyboer (@MelissaHeyboer) May 1, 2013
(2/2) "The pitcher runned and throwed the ball because he hit it. That man is playing T-ball!"— Melissa Heyboer (@MelissaHeyboer) May 1, 2013
We need to add Melissa's nephew to the BYB masthead, stat!
The Tigers were without a hit through four. Kurt knows the reason why the Tigers' lineup had become so ineffectual -- no Donnie Baseball.
@bobwojnowski I blame Don Kelly— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) May 1, 2013
Rogo and a former BYB writer both echo my thoughts on the Tigers' failed hit-and-run in the fifth.
Hit & run with a hitter that can't hit and a runner that can't run. Interesting.— Scott Rogowski (@DNR_Rogo) May 1, 2013
"I called a hit and run, not a swing and waddle!"— Matt Wallace (@MattinToledo) May 1, 2013
Jose Ortega struck out two in his first appearance, a stark contrast to Rondon. Ortega's first K of the inning was also a record breaker:
AL-record 6 consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts for #Tigers pitching. They'll face the Astros the next 4 games.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 1, 2013
The Tigers need two more 10 strikeout games against the Astros to tie the MLB record.
Miguiel Cabrera: Supplied the majority of the Tigers' offense with two hits and an RBI.
Anibal Sanchez: Six innings, three runs, eight punchouts. Pitched into some bad luck and battled his command early, Sanchez still put up a quality start.
Jose Ortega: The new call-up pitched a hitless ninth, striking out two, becoming the anti-Rondon to Tigers fans.
Bruce Rondon: Paid the price with a bus ticket to Toledo.
Brayan Pena: Dropped a sure out at the plate, struck out twice, hitless in three at bats.
The Tigers' offense: Six hits just won't cut it.
GAME THREAD ROLL CALL:
|Roll Call Info|
|Commenter list||Avid Reader, BadCompany22, ButternutMI, Chadster, CokeIsMyHeroin, Fielder'sChoice, Grant E., Grzesio, H2OPoloPunk, Honeyman, J_the_Man, Kurt Mensching, MSUDersh, MakeItTrizzle, Matthew Malek, Michigan&TrumbullinLA, N*W, NCDee, Nonsuch Ned, Riff_Raff, Rob Rogacki, SanDiegoMick, ShowingBunt, Singledigit, Sir Handel, SpartanHT, TheLoneDavid, TigerTom, Tigerdog1, aarone46, ahtrap, bluesabriel, datamonger, doctorj, dominator039, fiendishdr.wu, jgrubbs, johnmoz, jon.erkkila.9, knucklescarbone, lesmanalim, momotigers, mrsunshine, rbbaker, redwingxviii, rubberbiscuit, sactwnsteelr, send'emhomegene, stevenyc, tealy213|
TOP TEN COMMENTERS:
|# Recs||Commenter||Comment Link|
|3||TigerTom||The only thing he's 'closer'|
|3||ShowingBunt||"Only you can Prevent Dumpster fires"|
|2||Fielder'sChoice||In play, buggy whip(ped)|
Another Justin Verlander start, another player-of-the-game-win, this time with 55% of the BYB vote.