Today the bell might have tolled for a certain left-hander who used to be real good. From MLive.com's James Schmehl:
- Dontrelle Willis has had a few impressive starts and a few not-so-encouraging outings since rejoining the Tigers' starting rotation in May.
Willis' start [Thursday] likely falls under the latter.
Willis, who allowed five earned runs, despite not giving up a hit in 2 1/3 innings, was relieved after hitting the leadoff man and then walking four of the next five batters to force in a pair of runs.
"I just got frustrated," Willis said. "That was the first time I've ever had a call that I felt should have gone my way and I let it get to me."
Well, just to be clear ... Willis has started five games for the Tigers, which makes it hard to wedge two different fews in there. In his first start, he didn't strike out a single Twin and was KO'd in the fifth inning. In his second start, he gave up just one hit before leaving in the seventh and picked up his first victory since 2007. In his third start, he walked as many batters (4) as he struck out. In his fourth start, he gave up two home runs, walked two batters, and recorded one (1) strikeout. And today in his fifth start, he couldn't throw strikes and thus couldn't escape the third inning.
I count one impressive start, two unacceptable starts, and two disasters. Worse, the two disasters have come most recently, suggesting that Willis is heading in the wrong direction. I'm not sure if it's time to give up on Willis, as he did show better (if not necessarily good) control during his stint this spring in the minors. But with Jeremy Bonderman slated to return to Detroit's rotation, perhaps as soon as next Monday, I'm afraid we may have seen the last of Dontrelle Willis for a while. Which might be the best thing for everyone involved.