Bonderman (RHP–11-5, 3.76), C. Schilling (RHP–14-5, 3.89)
This year’s AL leaders had no trouble taking Fenway apart yesterday. Go, Tigers! Game of the night.
Nearly a rookie, Lance Cormier happens to look a lot like his opponent on paper, but veteran Pedro Astacio has come to Nationals after years of off-and-on right shoulder injuries, including surgery that kept him out of the majors for a couple years. I remember him best from the 2002-03 Mets, where he impressed me by delivering a shocking pitch no one would expect him to attempt when down in the count or pitching in and out of trouble. It was 2003 when he left the Mets for surgery, then devasted the Red Sox minor league opposition in 2004 after recovering. Promoted to Boston, he was unsuccessful, and split 2005 between the Rangers and the Padres, where he finished out the season 4-2 (3.17). The two Nationals games I heard him pitch this season were fun because he still digs deep and pulls those shocking pitches out of his hat, escaping the holes he may have dug, and leaving his team in the game. If anything, he may have acquired more poise, which came across a tad disquieting, to the batter, I assume. Cormier, on the other hand, just debuted in 2004, as opposed to Astacio’s 1992. Yes, both have gone up and down between minors and majors. Cormier seems to have closer abilities as well, judging from his college experience both starting and relieving at the University of Alabama. Lance was born in Louisiana, unlike Rheal Cormier of the Cincinnati Reds, who hails from New Brunswick, who, like Lance, has both started and relieved. For the last several years, Rheal, who debuted in 1991, has been making a name for himself as a quality reliever.