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>>caption: WILD WILLIS<<
@ COMERICA PARK:
Dontrelle Willis reverted to
2008 florm and self-destructed
Willis hit one batter and walked four more in what became a 6-R/T-3rd for
Boston as the Red Sox topped Detroit 6-3.
The result gave the Red Sox their first 3-game series sweep at Detroit in
almost 13 years (September 17th--19th, 1996 at Tiger Stadium).
In all Willis went 2.1-IP and 53-pitches that included 29 balls and just 24
strikes. Willis (L, 1-3) was charged with 5-R/5-ER on no hits and 3-K.
Tiger MGR Jim Leyland left the game at the same time Willis did, getting
ejected for arguing with HP umpire Jeff Nelson, although most of Willis' misses
were well off the plate.
When Willis departed Detroit still had a 3-2 lead, but reliever Zach Miner
allowed all three inherited runners to score on a 2r2B by Jason Bay and an
RBI-G'out by Mike Lowell. Miner also allowed a run of his own in the T-3rd
when Rocco Baldelli's RBI-1B plated Bay.
Detroit lost more than the game. Clean-up man Miguel Cabrera pulled
his left hamstring running the bases. Although he briefly stayed in to score
a run, he almost walked from 2Base to the plate and was then removed from
the contest in the B-2nd.
Miner also came out injured after skidding on a delivery to Boston's
Mark Kotsay in the T-7th. Miner suffered a right calf cramp.
Detroit started the B-2nd with three consecutive basehits including a 2r2B
to the LField corner by Brandon Inge and Inge later scored on an Adam Everett
RBI-G'out for a short-lived 3-0 lead.
Aside from the B-2nd blip, BoSox starter Tim Wakefield had remarkable command
of his fluttering knuckleball. Wakefield (W, 7-3) threw 59 of his 80-pitches for
strikes, didn't walk anybody and yielded the 3-R/3-ER on 8-H.
Wakefield went to 16-10 lifetime vs Detroit, more career wins against the Tigers
than any other active MLB pitcher.
When Boston threatened to turn it into a third straight blowout, Tiger
reliever Joel Zumaya worked out of a bases-loaded, none out situation in the T-8th
by retiring the second trio of Carmines he faced (with 1-K).
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon had his fourth consecutive rough outing, but
survived a 2-on, 1-out (1-W & 1-H) situation in the B-9th to record the save (#14)
with help from a diving stop by BoSox 2Bman Dustin Pedroia.
In the first ever video review at Comerica Park the original foul ball call
by 1Base umpire Mark Carlson on a B-6th Jeff Larish flyball was confirmed.
(The initial replay appeared to show the ball hitting the foul pole, indicating
a homer.) Instead of a Tiger 2rHR, Larish proceeded to ground into an inning-
ending double play.
Lowell was 2-for-4 as the only Boston batter with multiple hits.
Inge went 3-for-4 and Ramon Santiago 2-for-4 at the plate for Detroit.
Detroit has lost eight of its last 12 games. Now 28-24 the Tiger lead in the AL-
Central has been reduced to 2.1/2 games over second place Minnesota.
The Red Sox wrapped up an 11-day road trip with a 6-4 record to remain
tied with the New York Yankees atop the AL-East at 32-22.
BOS 6-6-0, 8-LOB (W) Wakefield, 7-3; (S) Papelbon, #14
DET 3-10-0, 5-LOB (L) Willis, 1-3
TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND: "I want to apologize (for his ejection). I think what
happened was, some of our players, including our catcher, thought a couple pitches
were strikes - and I was wrong...Everybody wanted it so bad for Dontrelle and I
think there were a couple close pitches, but when you're that wild, you're not going
to get close pitches. The umpire was right and I was totally out of line and I apologize
for that...When you make a mistake, you've got to admit it. I think I was wrong.
I don't usually think I'm wrong when I get thrown out of a game, but today I was
wrong...Umpires are amazing. I must have seen 10 replays (on the near Larish HR)
before I was sure they had it right, but they did...We got a few hits, but we didn't do
anything with our hits. We're not swinging the bats good. We threw a few singles in
there, but we didn't swing the bats good."
TIGERS SP DONTRELLE WILLIS: "I threw a couple good pitches and I didn't get the
calls, and I let myself get flustered. That's the first time that's happened in my career,
but you can't do that against the Red Sox. It was just mental...I let it get to me, and
I can't do that. I feel like today was solely on my shoulders. I have to go out there
deep in the ballgame and give our ballclub a better chance to win...I feel good.
I feel very strong. I like the way I'm working. And up until that one inning, I like the
way I've been throwing the ball."
TIGERS 1B MIGUEL CABRERA: "We'll see how I feel, but (the hamstring) isn't too bad.
I'm hoping to play tomorrow."
R-SOX MGR TERRY FRANCONA: "(Wakefield has) been a blessing for us. And when I say
the last two years, this goes way past that. But you look at his numbers from the regular
season the last couple of years, he probably ranks second on our staff in a lot of categories
-- wins, innings. He's a good pitcher. Maybe a little unconventional, but that's OK -- it
R-SOX SP TIM WAKEFIELD: "After that (B-2nd) inning, I felt really comfortable. I only
needed 80 pitches, so that's great, and I got some offensive support."
R-SOX 2B DUSTIN PEDROIA: "We walked a lot. I think that was the biggest thing.
A lot of guys took a patient approach. Jason Bay had a big hit for us."
Wakefield now has 185 MLB victories, 171 in a Red Sox uniform.
BoSox 1Bman Kevin Youkilis was removed from Thursday's game after 3-INN
due to a tight right calf.
Still slumping at .187 with 1-HR, Red Sox DH David Ortiz had the day off and
told reporters he's considering an eye exam to see if that's what's causing his
Leyland's ejection was his second this year.
Led by Willis' wildness, five Tiger pitchers combined to walk nine BoSox hitters.
J.D. Drew drew four of those free passes.
In his five MLB starts after coming off the DL, Willis had issued 15-W in 25-IP with
13-K and 14-R/14-ER for a 6.84-ERA. While Willis is 1-3 with 1-ND, Detroit has lost
four of his five starts.
Willis became the first Tiger since the late Mark Fidrych (at the end of his comeback
try) to allow 5-R on no hits. The Bird did it in just two-thirds of an inning on 9/24/1980
The Tigers fell to 14-5 in daytime games and 15-10 at home with their fifth
consecutive CoPa defeat.
The matinee crowd count of 31,353 was the largest of the series.
The last time the Tigers were swept in a series was May 12th--14th at
Minnesota. The last time Detroit was swept at home was September 22nd--24th
of last year by Kansas City.
With complete demolition of Tiger Stadium about to resume, Thursday night
what's left of the ballpark was used for filming scenes of the upcoming movie "The
Irishman." The tale of 1970s union organizer and mobster Danny Greene will star
Ray Stevenson, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken. Tiger Stadium is doing its
own version of a stunt double, providing the backdrop of what supposedly is
a Cleveland, Ohio boxing arena.
The Tigers open a 3-game weekend series hosting the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim Friday night. Detroit probables are listed as Justin Verlander (6-2),
Edwin Jackson (5-3) and Rick Porcello (6-4). The Angels are scheduled to
counter with Ervin Santana (0-2), Kelvim Escobar (first MLB game since 2007)
and Joe Saunders (6-4).
Verlander was named the "AL Pitcher of the Month" for May by MLB on
Thursday. JV had a 5-0 record with a 1.52-ERA and 56-K in his 41.1-IP last month.
Also Thursday, Porcello was named "AL Rookie-of-the-Month" for May. Porcello
went 5-0 with a 1.50-ERA in his five May starts.
A 2-out 2r1B by ex-Tiger OFielder Brent Clevlen capped a 3-R/T-8th rally
which gave Toledo a 4-3 win at Durham Thursday night. Former Tiger reliever
Freddy Dolsi (W, 2-2) worked the last 2.1-IP in scoreless fashion as the Mud Hens
beat the Bulls for a third consecutive contest. Still on injury rehab (ribcage),
Tiger OF/DH Marcus Thames went 0-for-2 with 2-W for the Hens to lower his
Triple-A average to .267.
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