box) Magic Number 15 box) Magic Number 15

Leyland Names Bonine Fifth Starter

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Toronto 2, Detroit 7 (box)

Magic Number 15

Rick Porcello and Ricky Romero had squared off once before.  They both made their major league debuts against each other in Toronto back in April.  The second meeting went much better for Detroit prized right hander.

Porcello (13-8) went six strong innings, allowing two runs on just four hits.  Romero (12-8) allowed 14 baserunners over his six innings, and struggledwith command.

The Tigers took control of the game with a three run third inning that saw a pair of two-out RBI, one each from Marcus Thames and Gerald Laird.  Detroit scored five of their seven runs with two outs in this game.

Cheers for

  • Brent Dlugach– Dlugachfinally made his big league debut yesterday, appearing as a pinch runner and scoring a run in the eighth.  Dlugach was called on on September 1.
  • Fernando Rodney– It wasn’t a save situation when Rodney came into the game with a five run lead, and he did just fine this time.
  • Magglio Ordonez– Maggs had a double and two singles in his four at bats.  He is now hitting .294 on the season.  Since the break, Magglio is hitting a robust .360.

Jeers to

  • Jim Leyland– Leyland announced after the game that Eddie Bonine will permanently take over the fifth spot in the rotation.  More on this below.

What’s on tap

Detroit will try to split the series with the Jays as Justin Verlander gets the ball looking for his 17th win of the year.  David Purcey opposes him.

When the Tigers take on the Royals starting Tuesday, Jarrod Washburn will make his scheduled start, despite continued discomfort in his knee.

Nate Robertson’s adductor strain will not only keep him from starting on Thursday, but apparently Nate will work out of the bullpen for the remainder of the year, no matter if he is healthy quickly or not.  With Armando Galarraga battling ineffectiveness (or elbow inflammation, whichever you believe), the Tigers will turn to Bonine for the spot start.  Except that this is not just a spot start.

Bonine has impressed so much with his 6.11 ERA this season, that the Tigers are giving him the final rotation spot.  Nevermind that Robertson could be ready to make his next turn, and that he has allowed just four earned runs over his last three starts. 

Nope, Robertson will head to the bullpen and the Tigers will lean on two rookies down the stretch as they battle the White Sox and Twins for the division.  Isn’t that the reason they dealt away Luke French?  So they didn’t have two rookies to pamper?  This is not a smart decision.  The biggest games of the year are rapidly approaching, this is no time to make a change in the rotation.

Leyland is making the move because he doesn’t like not knowing who will start games.  Sorry, Jim, but in the final three weeks of the season, sometimes you have to deal with the unexpected, especially when the season hangs in the balance.

If the Tigers were 15 games back, I would not only understand, but applaud the move.  There would be no reason not to see what Bonine could do.  But the Tigers are not the Indians, if Robertson is healthy enough to pitch, he should be the guy starting every fifth day.