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Dontrelle Willis pitched in the majors again. And it was OK.

Jul 11, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Getty Images

Dontrelle Willis made his return to the majors yesterday, starting for the Reds against the Brewers. I like Willis as a person so much that it has pained me to see him struggle these past three years, so I could barely look at the box score last night I was so nervous. But actually: it was OK. Not great, but OK.

Willis got a no-decision when Francisco Cordero blew the save, but did pitch well enough to win.  He allowed two runs on four hits. The key to his struggles have been his walks, however, and he did walk four batters in six innings. Struck out four too.  I didn’t see him pitch so I can’t say whether he had anything or if, like his last few big league stints, his strikeouts were a function of guys getting to eager too smack his flat stuff, so if anyone watched the game, please chime in with your impressions.

Obviously, though, one game won’t tell us enough about his outing to give us a clear idea of how long he’ll stick or if he’s anywhere close to being the pitcher he once was.  I want to be optimistic, even if the walks are troubling.  For now, though, he doesn’t have to be spectacular. He need only be better than Edinson Volquez, and that ain’t too tough a trick at the moment.

  1. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    He looked pretty good, Craig. Had some movement on his pitches, and once he settled down, looked fine. 2 of his 4 walks were in the first inning where he gave up a couple hits and walked the bases loaded. The D-Will of the past few years would have collapsed at that point, but he got out of it, and seemed to gain some confidence after only giving up the one run in the first.

    • baseballisboring - Jul 11, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      Do you remember where his velocity was sitting at? This is a story anyone can root for…just don’t get your hopes up TOO high. But the K/BB ratio in AAA is encouraging…

  2. Gobias Industries - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Your move, Oliver Perez.

    • Old Gator - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Unkind. Unkind.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 11, 2011 at 10:28 AM


  4. metalhead65 - Jul 11, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    first inning nerves aside he looked pretty good to me. they did not touch after the second plus he had double! hope his hammy is ok so they do not have that as an excuse to recall that joke of a pitcher in volquez. he should stay down untill he posts the numbers willis did to earn his way back to the majors. he may have a million dollar arm but he has a 10 cent brain to go along with it. I see where Hamilton hit his 11th homer to go along with his 43 rbi’s yesterday. he sure would look good in left field for the reds right now wouldn’t he?

    • metalhead65 - Jul 11, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      your telling me by giving me a thumbs down you do not think he would be better in left field for the reds than what they have now? wait yuour one of those fans that just can’t accept the fact the reds got hosed in that trade right?look I understand the reds needed pitching but giving up a everyday MVP player for volquez has worked out well for the reds how? he won’t win 20 more games in his career let alone in a season. just look at the back of the card and you know why the rangers were happy to get rid of him. one half a ped fueled season does no a career make.

  5. explodet - Jul 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    TV had his fastball around 91 (I remember him being like 86 a year or two ago) with a 80mph slider/slurve.

  6. bigleagues - Jul 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    I propose a new variation on his old nickname based on his improved numbers in the Reds system this year:


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