Saturday, October 4, 2003 —Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL
Dontrelle ‘D-Train’ Willis was mostly known for his unique wind-up and dominant pitching seasons with the Florida Marlins (2003-07). He was the NL ROY in 2003, the NL wins leader in 2005, a 2x All-Star (‘03, ‘05), and a World Series Champion in 2003.
What some may have overlooked was his above-average ability to hit the ball, a characteristic most pitchers lack. Willis’ regular season batting statistics throughout his five-year Marlins career are certainly respectable: .234/.280/.359 (BA/OBP/SLG), 8 HR, 35 RBI, 82 H, and 21 BB.
D-Train was an integral part of the Marlins’ most recent October run. Today’s flashback focuses on Game 4 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants that year, when he lasted 5.1 IP and gave up 5 ER, four of which came in the sixth inning.
Although it wasn’t his best night pitching, Willis made up for it with his bat. He went 3-for-3 at the plate including a thunderous triple.
His three hits in the contest were the most by a pitcher in the postseason since Orel Hershiser in Game 2 of the 1988 World Series.
Willis’ clutch offense proved to be a big difference-maker in the game. The Marlins ended up winning Game 4 by the score of 7-6, advancing to the NLCS.