Florida starter Dontrelle Willis has always pitched better in the first half of the season than in the second. So far, this year has been no different.
Willis looks to shake his second-half slump as the Marlins wrap up their three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Willis allowed three runs, one earned, and three hits in five innings of Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals. The 23-year-old left-hander threw seven shutout innings in his previous start, a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, but has lost four of his last five starts.
Willis, who threw 103 pitches Tuesday, is 29-10 with a 2.84 in his career before the All-Star break and 9-14 with a 4.59 ERA after. He went 13-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 18 starts before the break this season, and his 1-3 with a 6.97 ERA in four starts since then.
During his three-start losing streak from July 8-22, he gave up 23 earned runs in 13 innings. Willis has lost his last three starts on the road.
“I felt like I was in the game the whole time,” Willis said Tuesday. “I battled through it. I kept us in the game and there were some unfortunate plays and that’s all they needed.”
The Reds beat the Marlins 4-3 on Saturday for their seventh win in 10 games. Austin Kearns had two hits and an RBI for Cincinnati, which scored the go-ahead runs on infield outs in the sixth inning.
The Marlins placed first baseman Carlos Delgado, who has been sidelined since July 27 with a sore left elbow and hand, on the DL Saturday, retroactive to July 28.