Do we really have to go through this again?
Apparently, the answer is yes, since the Tigers continue to subject themselves and their fans to Dontrelle Willis in their starting rotation and on their roster. I feel like we already went through this 10 days ago against the Red Sox. No other major league team willingly deals with the possibility of a total pitching breakdown every five days. And Willis continues to make the Tigers look utterly foolish for continuing to employ him.
Six runs, six hits, and eight walks in 3.2 innings. That's the most walks by a Detroit pitcher in eight years. Willis walked the leadoff batter in each inning he pitched. He loaded the bases five times, and walked in a run twice. Only 43 of his 88 pitches were thrown for strikes. The Tigers were already out of this game by the time Willis recorded an out.
The D-Train has gotten every chance he's entitled to. (Probably more, thanks to that $29 million contract.) Regardless of the final result, he's worked hard and fought through who knows what to keep his job. The front office, coaching staff, and players have given him support and shown compassion. They've all done the decent thing here. But it's long past time for a baseball decision to be made. How many debacles is it going to take?
The Tigers weren't going to win with the way Willis pitched today. But that doesn't mean Jim Leyland can't field a lineup that gives them some sort of chance on the other side of the ball. And a batting order with Josh Anderson - whose average was .248/.285/.325 with no home runs and 10 RBIs coming into the game - batting third isn't it.
Don Kelly batting leadoff? Ramon Santiago batting second? Who exactly did Leyland think Miguel Cabrera or Curtis Granderson was going to drive in? The top three of the Toledo Mud Hens' lineup - Will Rhymes, Wilkin Ramirez, and Clete Thomas - looked better today.
At least Leyland didn't send that lineup onto the field at Comerica Park. No home crowd should have to see that.
Comment of the Day:
When the afternoon's entertainment comes from seeing how far to the right a comment thread will indent, you know it wasn't a good baseball game. But hey, the software is supposed to be user-friendly, and it's nice to see that the BYB Bunch still tried to have some fun.
And no, I did not fall asleep. I, um, went grocery shopping. Carry on.