The last time Boof Bonser had pitched, he'd gone six innings against the Athletics and allowed just two runs. Yet, as has routinely been the case for Bonser this year, he'd gotten pathetic run support (in this case, the Twins were shut out) and lost.
Since that start last Wednesday, the Twins' rotation had spun out of control. In those four games between Bonser's outings, Twins' starters had posted a 15.53 ERA, and only one (Nick Blackburn on Friday) had lasted more than 4 1/3 innings in a start. Obviously, this had been very taxing on the bullpen and very humiliating for the team. Needless to say, last night's start was a big one for Bonser. The Twins needed him to be their stopper. And Boof came through.
In classic fashion, the Twins didn't provide him with much run support. Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning which Mike Lamb followed with a sacrifice fly, but that was the extent of scoring for the Twins. That makes six starts for Bonser this season, and six games where the Twins have failed to score more than three runs.
That doesn't leave much room for error for Bonser, but fortunately he was up to the task last night. He held the White Sox offense scoreless through six frames before allowing a solo homer to Joe Crede with two outs in the seventh, and finished with the following line: 7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. A great outing.
For whatever reason, Bonser seems to get a lot of grief from Twins fans. I have heard numerous people tell me this year that he doesn't seem like a major-league pitcher, or that he should be the odd man out when Kevin Slowey returns from injury (this was before Francisco Liriano tanked), but I can't really understand why. Bonser has logged Quality Starts in five of his six outings this season, and now holds a 3.75 ERA to go along with a .250 BAA and 1.22 WHIP. Those aren't overwhelming numbers, but they certainly aren't bad. His 2-4 record quite clearly does not reflect the way he's pitched this year, and in fact I've got more confidence in him than probably any other pitcher in the rotation right now.