PITTSBURGH — Trevor Williams continued his run of impressive strikeout performances, punching out six Milwaukee Brewers in the Pirates’ 1-0 loss on Tuesday.
Williams got all six strikeouts via swinging strikes and only allowed three hits over his five innings. The lone run he gave up was when a Domingo Santana fly ball barely cleared the wall in the short corner of left field in the fourth inning.
“The game plan we had going in, we were going to attack the bottom of the zone,” Williams said. “We did a great job of doing that. Diaz and I are getting better together. I think this is our fifth or sixth start now together. Stuff is rolling and we’re on the same page. It was good tonight to get ahead of hitters.”
The Pirates offense came up with a second straight blank, meaning that Williams’ lone mistake — if it could even be considered a mistake — was the difference maker.
“Unfortunately, it was the front-row homer that it for them tonight,” Williams said. “Sometimes, that’s just baseball.”
Williams now has 111 strikeouts on the season, which is good enough for fourth amongst NL rookies. He didn’t come up with a reputation of being a strikeout pitcher, but he’s developed into one in the majors, particularly against left-handed hitters.
“Today, it was the sliders to the lefties,” he said. “They ran out six or seven lefties. So, once that got going, they were swinging over it and when I’m pounding the bottom of the zone with fastballs to both sides of the plate, it opens up the slider underneath. It’s been really noticeable my past few starts. It’s just fine-tuning some things and honing in on my craft that can hopefully carry over for the rest of the year.”
Here’s more from Williams on his sudden surge in strikeouts.
HE SAID IT
“There’s no one happy in there. So you keep them fresh for the next day. Feel what you need to feel. There’s should be some angst — and there is. Then we have to figure out tomorrow, when we walk through those clubhouse doors, how to beat someone’s backside tomorrow.” — Hurdle on the Pirates’ seven-game losing streak.
GAME IN GRAPHS
The Pirates didn’t hit a single ball that traveled 300 feet against Anderson and managed just four that left the barrel of the bat at more than 90 MPH.
***The Pirates current seven-game losing streak includes just nine runs as the light seems to have gone out for the Pirates’ offense. It’s left the clubhouse short on good feeling despite the number of young player getting playing time.
“It’s tough,” said Adam Frazier, who finished 1 for 4. T”hat’s baseball, though, so. You’ve just got to keep doing it. We’ve got another game tomorrow, so you just come up and try to put together a big hit when we need it. I think that’s what it’s been the past few games. We just haven’t been able to get that hit to get the offense rolling.”
***Starling Marte was the lone bright spot for the offense. Marte went 2 for 4, with a shot through a hole to right field and a bunt single. He also stole two bases. Hurdle said “it was good to get him back in there.” Marte had been out with shoulder and finger injuries since last Wednesday, when he hurt himself sliding into second base.
***Catcher Elias Diaz caught Ryan Braun attempting to steal second base in the sixth inning. He’s now thrown out 6 of 22 (27 percent) attempted base-stealers this season. He threw out 46 percent with Triple-A Indianapolis.