Game #2: Boofda.
Twins 1, Angels 9 (Box Score)
- The critism will focus on his first inning of work where he was roughed up for two of three earned runs, but Boof Bonser threw marginally well throughout his 6 innings of work, good enough for a game score of 46. He gave up 3 earned runs - a 4th on an error - but he still kept his team within striking distance. He was failed both by his offense and in some respects his bullpen (albeit had the offense made it a one or two run game, Brian Bass would never had made an appearance). Revisiting the pitch f/x data, it appeared that Bonser may have been a bit "wound-up" in his 2008 debut. His fastball was cresting between 92-95 among those first twenty pitches, most likely causing the ball to level out instead of creating that tailing movement that induces groundballs (Bonser had a 45% groundball rate last year). As a result, Vlad Guerrero and Garret Anderson traded doubles on similar 95-mph fastballs. "I was all jittery and happy and just letting it ride," Bonser confirmed after the game, adding: "I was just happy to get the first one out of the way. I settled down afterwards and got going." The following inning, Bonser began to throw his fastball around 88 to 92 mph where he found more success. After the first inning and the nerves settled, his fastball was much improved which led to using the slider as the outpitch - 3 out of 4 strikeouts were on his slider.
- What also needs to be said is that his opponant on the hill, Jon Garland, bested him by tossing 8 innings and scattering 6 hits while walking one. Garland, whose game score was 61, induced groundball outs on 70% of the balls put in play (17 of 24). The Twins, to my recollection, seem offensively futile against groundball pitchers in the past several years. I should check the statistics to see if this supports my memory. Garland, who had a 39% groundball rate last season, is hardly your prototypical groundball pitcher as is the instance of Carlos Silva who had a 47% groundball rate, but Garland throws a good sinker.
- The Michael Cuddyer Ground-Into-Double-Play talley is at 1 in 2008.