Thursday, June 09, 2005D-Train Keeps Rollin'
Is he your NL All-Star starter?
The leg kick tells you all. Even though the Mariners were game, Dontrelle Willis won his league-high 10th game of the season for the Marlins.
This leads to the question of who will be the starting pitcher for the NL come All-Star time. Right now I'd say it's a race between Willis and Pedro Martinez. Pedro is 7-1 with three no-decisions on games that the Mets bullpen blew. He leads the NL in strikeouts and is the reason why the Mets have remained in contention of a muddled NL East. Normally this would be a no brainer because above all, Pedro IS an All-Star. He's box office, his last start generally 10,000 ticket sales in walk ups alone.
But if anyone can rival Pedro for league popularity it's the D-Train, the big leg kick, the infectious personality. The youthful spirit, Willis is the drug-free Dwight Gooden. Right now I think it's a major decision between the two. Roger Clemens would be considered, but he started last year in Houston and the Astros aren't in contention this season.
Right now I think Pedro gets the nod, it's a respect thing. Their numbers are almost identical, Much like Randy Johnson got the nod in similar situations in the past, Pedro, a former All-Star MVP, will get the nod this time and give way to the future in the third inning. Clemens will come on in the fifth and it'll be a nice story. A future Hall of Famer pitching between two of the best baseball has ever seen.
Willis, Delgado Ends Marlins' Skid [Miami Herald]