Story by Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Chaz Palla
Although he didn’t pick up a win, Trevor Williams gleaned important lessons last night during his start against the Phillies. Williams (2-3) worked 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on four hits. The Phillies didn’t square up many balls against him, but took advantage of two walks and a soft double fisted into shallow left field by Daniel Nava.
The first walk came in the third inning, after Freddy Galvis reached on a fan interference double. “A ground ball that got through the hole,” Williams said. With one out, Williams walked pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. Then Cesar Hernandez poked and RBI single up the middle. “A seeing-eye ball. That’s kind of the way today went,” Williams said.
In the sixth, Hernandez drew a leadoff walk and Nava doubled. “I had to limit the damage as much as I could,” Williams said. “Then we got two pitches and two outs after that.” Those two outs were signifiant, though — a run-scoring grounder and a sacrifice fly that put the Phillies up to stay, 3-2.
Williams didn’t make it out of the inning, as Odubel Herrera grounded a weak single to cap an 11-pitch at-bat. Williams was visibly upset as he saw the ball sneak through the middle into center field. “It was a battle I wanted to win really bad, especially to finish my start,” Williams said.
Williams did not register a strikeout, the byproduct of a limited arsenal. “I didn’t have my slider,” he said. “It was pretty clear early on in the game that it ws just fastball-changeup and working the sinker. They were swinging early, there were a lot of quick outs, so we were just riding that. You have to do what you can with the pitches you’ve got.” The slider eventually came around, but by then Williams’ outing was nearly over. Making his third straight start in place of Jameson Taillon (cancer), Williams threw a career-high 93 pitches
“We’re getting better,” Williams said. “We’re getting into a routine and the pitch count is going up. I’m going to just roll with it. We’ll reassess (on Saturday) and get ready for four days from now.”
>>> UPDATE 12:56 p.m. – Josh Lindblom woke up this morning with some left side discomfort, per the Pirates, so he’s been placed on the 10-day DL. That conveniently opens a roster spot for reliever Jhan Marinez, who was just claimed off waivers. Manager Clint Hurdle said Marinez will fill the type of role once performed by Jared Hughes — a sinkerballer who will be called upon with runners on base and who can pitch part of an inning or multiple innings.
>>> Here’s a tasty tidbit: Tony Watson (who’ll almost certainly will be traded in July before he hits the free-agent market this winter) has hired Scott Boras as his new agent.
>>> For what it’s worth …
Jung Ho Kang will next play in a game for the #Pirates …
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) May 18, 2017
>>> Yinz want links? I’ve got links:
Phillies 7, Pirates 2: Two quick runs, then … silence.
Taillon: “When you have the word cancer involved, it’s a whole other dimension — you’re talking life, death, whatever.”
>>> Saturday: Phillies at Pirates, 4:05 p.m. PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Phillies (15-24): Cesar Hernandez 4, Freddy Galvis 6, Aaron Atherr 7, Tommy Joseph 3, Odubel Herrera 8, Maikel Franco 5, Michael Saunders 9, Cameron Rupp 2, RHP Vince Velasquez (2-3, 5.63) 1
Pirates (18-24): Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 4, Andrew McCutchen 8, Josh Bell 3, David Freese 5, John Jaso 9, Francisco Cervelli 2, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Ivan Nova (3-3, 2.48) 1
Gamecast: Over the first six games of their road trip (three games each vs. the Nationals and Rangers), the Phillies’ bullpen put up a 6.34 ERA and a .310 batting average against. … Since April 20, Tommy Joseph has raised his batting average 104 points by collecting 23 hits, including 12 for extra bases, in 79 plate appearances. … Nova is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two career starts vs. the Phillies. On Sept. 13, 2016, he whiffed 11 and gave up one earned run, but got a no-decision at Citizens Bank Park. He tossed 6.2 scoreless innings for the Yankees on June 24, 2015.
>>> Sunday: Phillies at Pirates, 1:35 p.m. PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 5.40) Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-4, 6.69)
>>> Monday: Pirates at Braves, 7:35 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (2-4, 2.84) Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (2-4, 4.10)
>>> Tuesday: Pirates at Braves, 7:35 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-3, 7.34) Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (3-4, 5.47)
>>> Wednesday: Pirates at Braves, 7:35 p.m. SunTrust Park, Atlanta. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (2-3, 6.04) Braves: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-3, 4.13)
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.