There were plenty of signs early on that 2008 was not going to be a championship season for the Tigers. Yet, an occasional (albeit short) winning streak would buoy the spirits of the faithful only to be smashed to smithereens by the news of, oh, another injury.
Take Jeremy Bonderman for example.
On June 1 in Seattle, he pitched seven innings, allowed 12 hits and three earned runs, walked none and struck out five. The Tigers scored four runs in the ninth and beat the Mariners 7-5. Bonderman didn’t figure in the decision that game and he wouldn’t for the rest of the year.
Bonderman complained to team trainers of a heavy arm on June 6. He underwent a thrombylosis that night at Detroit Medical Center to dissolve a blood clot in the vein and an angioplasty the next day to clear it.
The injury was a serious one — life-threatening, in fact, if not treated immediately. Bonderman’s surgery was successful and he’s on track to return in 2009. (His line for ’08: 3-4 in 12 starts, 4.29 ERA, 40 strikeouts in 71.1 IP.)
In most any season, without a healthy Bonderman, the Tigers are going nowhere. His value to the team certainly was magnified in 2008.