Stress the Positives:
Trevor Williams threw 92 pitches in 4 2⁄3 innings pitched in his March 17th start, and that was best thing he could say in post game comments on the outing. He got his work in, and built his arm up for the upcoming start of the season. And really, that was about all to take away for the 30-year-old starter who signed a 2-year deal with Washington this winter.
Williams gave up 10 hits, one a home run, three walks, and seven earned runs in the start against Miami.
Seven of the hits were singles, along with the homer and two doubles he allowed in an appearance to move past and build on going forward.
“The positive today is that we were able to throw over 90 pitches, get that bulk and go out there for the fifth inning after having a couple long innings,” Williams told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the 7-0 loss to the Marlins in Grapefruit League action.
“Being able to get that and get over 90 pitches was big for us today. Five days from today, we’re going to try to shoot for that 100-mark, 105-mark. And from there, we kind of cruise into the season.”
Gritty performance from Trevor Williams.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/GPMbvGPMGe— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 23, 2023
In his final inning of work in the fifth, four straight batters reached base with one out, with back-to-back singles, a walk, and a two-run hit adding the sixth and seventh runs to his line before he got the second out on his 92nd and final pitch.
“Results are always good,” Williams said of his less-than-stellar start, “but at this point it’s: ‘Am I executing the right pitches in the right spots? Am I able to sequence correctly what I want to do?’ It’s always an interesting matchup, too, this late in Spring Training with division rivals, because you don’t want to tip your hand too much. But at this point, we’re looking to execute pitches. And overall, we were able to execute some pitches today.”
This last aspect, not wanting to show the Marlins too much, did, Williams said, have an impact on how he approached the work he did on the mound.
“There’s stuff I needed to work on, execution of certain pitches,” he explained. “We could always second-guess which pitch calls we select, but we don’t need to be showing guys our hand necessarily this early.”
His manager said it was just a case of a veteran getting his work in with results which didn’t matter in the big picture.
“Veteran guys know what they’re going through,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said. “For him, he wanted to work on some things. For a young guy, they’re trying to attack the strike zone and get outs. This one was a little different for me today.”
Williams finished the day with a 7.30 ERA, three walks, nine strikeouts, and a .370 BAA in four starts and 12 1⁄3 IP this spring.
Start No. 5? Williams tossed five scoreless before giving up a run on a home run in the sixth inning of what ended up being a 96-pitch, four-hit, two-walk tune-up for the start of the regular season. He’ll get innings in the Nationals’ exhibition against the New York Yankees in D.C. next week but after that they’ll count.
Our rotation’s ERA in 29 IP this week:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 24, 2023
One week until Opening Day.
“We wanted to accomplish six ups today and as close as we could to a hundred pitches, so I think overall we did a great job with that,” Williams said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato, when asked to assess his own outing. “At this point in Spring Training, it’s what we wanted to do, and we’re in a good spot leading into the season.”
Williams’ preparation for the start and the way he’d studied hitters stood out for his new manager.
“He’s a student of the game,” Martinez said. “I saw him sitting down today studying the opponents, knew how to attack them. [He] was talking to [catcher] Riley [Adams] a little bit before the game. He’s a competitor, and he wants to win; he wants to help us win. I love that about him.”