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What's wrong with Dontrelle?


I was just talking to a buddy of mine (not a Marlins fan - but he has the A-train on his fantasy team) and he asked me that question - except he wasn't as polite about it.

I know that I (and my friend) should cut Dontrelle some serious slack, as he should have won the Cy Young last year, and he is an amazing pitcher, is a joy to watch and has actually pitched fairly well at times this year... in fact his April over all was pretty good.

But this May has been pretty awful.  Two starts - 10.50 ERA.  

Am I over-reacting?  It's just two starts.  I don't know... his ERA has steadily risen with each start of the season, and with what I have seen he just hasn't seemed quite right.  Is the team getting to him, perhaps?  

The answer I gave my friend was this - so much of Dontrelle's game seems to come from his own inner energy, and the atmosphere of losing on the team MAY actually be getting to him.  That is obviously going to be true, to a certain extent, of every player - but I have never really seen anyone (especially a pitcher) who seems to - every game - bring so much energy to the field and really feed off of it.  

That HAS to be hard to maintain when you are losing constantly, and know there is not much of a chance to win even if you pitch well (witness the one win even when he pitched decently).

I hope this does not sound like I am saying anything bad about Dontrelle and I certainly do not wish to put him down in any way, shape or form.  I also hope that these last two starts are a mere aberration against two good offensive teams (the Phills and Cards can ruin any pitcher's day).  Hell - even in his phenomenal 2005, Willis had an off month (he just waited till July for that), and May has been typically an off month for him (lifetime 1.49 WHIP)...

Maybe I am just over-reacting.  I hope so.  I hope he makes me eat my damn words and makes me look like a big fat idiot (which isn't hard to do, because I am one).  But I have to say I am concerned.  I have never watched an athlete to whom fun, happiness and energy means more - which is what makes watching him SUCH a joy - and now he is in a situation where things probably won't be very positive for a little while.

I sincerely hope that he doesn't let that bother him over the course of the season.

Leave your comments and tell me I'm an idiot.