D-Train Back on Track

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Welcome back, Dontrelle! Willis didn’t look great during his 4.2 inning start against the Twins Wednesday, in his first start of the season, but he did look like he belonged. After walking Denard Span to start the game on some very close pitches, he settled in fairly well. He pitched like he had a plan and a purpose. He wasn’t trying to throw strikes, he was trying to pitch. And for the most part, looked pretty good. He had little trouble getting ahead of hitters and his velocity was very good, 89-91 with the two seamer and 93-95 with the four seamer. He didn’t dominate, but he looked like he could have. The stuff was there. The command was off just a bit a few too many times. Willis left a fastball in the middle of the plate to Justin Morneau, who did what MVP’s do and hit it out. Willis was unable to strikeout a batter in his outing, struggling to find the command of his slider. And the defense (Miguel Cabrera) didn’t necessarily help as much as it could. I was wondering to myself during the game, if I was giving him too much credit for his efforts, but considering where he has come from, I will take that performance from Willis. Everyone was talking about him having to pitch in the dome against the Twins in his first start and how tough that was going to be. All things considered, I am very pleased with what I saw from him. He has some room for improvement, but hopefully a little fine tuning and he will help the Tigers. Again, people, he doesn’t need to win the Cy Young, he just needs to pitch like a capable #4 or 5 starter. Last night showed me that he still has the ability to do that. Harold Reynolds agrees.

In other news, where oh where is Nate Robertson? Billfer passed along a rumor that he may be hurt, and Lucas French is being called up to replace him. Again, this is not confirmed, but I would wonder why a guy who hasn’t pitched since May 5th, would just now be getting put on the DL? That is the only logical explanation as to why he never even got up last night, while Zumaya and Lyon were extended to three innings, but I have yet to find any confirmation of this.
UPDATE (9:14am): Robertson placed on DL, Lucas French is the player on his way from Toledo, and will be available for today’s game.

Oh yeah, and I hate Joe Crede.