Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Back in the Groove Williams Throws One-Hitter over Seven Innings; Bullpen Preserves Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Back in the Groove Williams Throws One-Hitter over Seven Innings; Bullpen Preserves Win

Article excerpt

For a few weeks, things weren't going well on the mound for Trevor Williams. From May 26 through June 12, he had made four starts, totaling 15 innings. In that stretch, his ERA was 9.60, opponents were batting .388 against him.

After his previous start, he said his stuff felt good, but a couple of bounces had not gone his way. He left after three innings for the second game in a row.

"I'm disappointed in myself that it was out of reach within that first inning, and letting the team down that way, and the past few starts have been tough," Williams said at the time. "But we're searching, we're searching, we're looking for it, and look forward to coming to the yard tomorrow and figuring it out."

Whatever "it" was that had been eluding Williams for the past few weeks seemed to return Monday. On a hot night at PNC Park, Williams allowed one hit over seven innings in the Pirates' 1-0 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers. After taking the critical series opener against a division foe, the Pirates (36-36) have won four of their past five games.

"Trevor, told him when he came out: 'You deserve this win when we get this run,'" Josh Harrison said. "And we did. Definitely deserving for him."

Williams and Jhoulys Chacin, neither with elite velocity, engaged in a pitchers' duel. Williams allowed one hit or less for the third time this season and the first since April 22. The other instances were six-inning starts. He also tied his season high with seven strikeouts.

So what changed? Williams said he had fine-tuned some aspects of his delivery, but primarily he felt his success arose from pitch execution. He also gave credit to Francisco Cervelli and his defense for their performances.

"We're still climbing out of a valley," Williams said. "One start . [is] going to kick-start a lot of positive vibes within the clubhouse, but it's constant tinkering, and I'm going to come to the field tomorrow and see what I did well."

Of Williams' 96 pitches, 61 were strikes, including 12 swinging strikes. While he allowed two walks and hit a batter, his final three innings were perfect.

"What a fine performance," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said admiringly. …

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