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Friday, June 5, 2009
Whatchu talkin' about (Dontrelle) Willis?
Remember when Dontrelle Willis was one of the best young talents in baseball? The D-Train won the 2005 NL Cy Young award as a Marlin and with a great personality, he seemed poised to be around for a while.
Dontrelle hasn't become a drunk or drug addict (as far as I know) but he has completely lost his abilities as an elite pitcher. Since he was traded to the Tigers along with Miguel Cabrera, his stay in Detroit has been nothing short of a disaster. Willis was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder but unlike Zach Grienke, he hasn't comeback and been better than ever.
In yesterday afternoon's series finale, Willis only lasted 2.1 innings as the Red Sox (32-22) swept the Tigers (28-24) with a 6-3 win at Comerica Park.
Dontrelle (1-3) unraveled, walking five men who all came around to score. He left a game in which he didn't give up a hit. Yikes.
Boston is pretty much the last team that a wild pitcher wants to face. As it has been well documented under the Theo Epstein regime, the Sox work counts and make pitchers throw strikes.
Tim Wakefield (7-3) was the main beneficiary of the Sox's patience. He was down 3-0 after two but suddenly had a 6-3 lead in the third and cruised to the win. He went 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 14th save as Boston salvaged the trip with a 6-4 record.
In the second inning, the Tigers took a 2-0 lead after a two-run single by Brandon Inge. Adam Everett scored Inge with a ground out.
Then the Sox pushed across all of its runs in the third. J.D. Drew (4 walks) and Kevin Youkilis walked with the bases loaded and Jason Bay delivered a two-run double. Mike Lowell's ground out scored Youk and Rocco Baldelli hit an RBI single which scored Bay.
The AL West leaders, the Texas Rangers, come to Fenway for three this weekend, followed by three with the Yankees, who are currently tied with the Red Sox atop the AL East.