Pittsburgh Pirates: Trevor Williams, Solo Home Runs Power Victory Over Cubs
By Marty Leap
Led by a strong start from Trevor Williams and a pair of solo home runs, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs on Wendesday night
Trevor Williams took the mound at PNC Park on Wednesday night making his final start of the 2020 season. In the penultimate home game of the 2020 season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Williams was looking to finish what has been a bad season on a high note.
Powered by the strong start from Williams, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Trevor Williams Finishes His Season Strong
No matter what stat you want to use, the 2020 season has been a disaster for Williams. He entered his start on Wednesday night with a 6.70 ERA, 6.36 FIP, and 6.65 DRA, all of which were career highs. He had also allowed 14 home runs, which was tied for the most in baseball.
Wendesday night, Williams pitched 5.2 strong innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The righty allowed just three hits, walked three, struck out four, and allowed just a single run. The lone run he allowed, however, came on a solo home run. So, Williams has now allowed a MLB most 15 home runs this season.
Williams will finish his 2020 season with a 6.18 ERA, 6.28 FIP, 2.44 HR/9, and a 8.3% walk rate. All of these are career worsts for Williams. It is entirely possible that the Pirates will non-tender Williams this off-season making him a free agent, even if that’s the case it was great to see him finish his season on a high note.
Long Ball Offense
The 1st inning of Wednesday night’s game saw three solo home runs, and these three solo home runs created all 3 runs scored in the game.
In the top half of the inning Anthony Rizzo hit a solo blast to give the Cubs a quick 1-0 lead. Then in the bottom half of the inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates and their top of the lineup hitters would respond.
Adam Frazier led the game off with 6th home run of the season. This was followed be Ke’Bryan Hayes launching a home run of his own. The 4th home run of the young career of Hayes, gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
This marked the first time since September 2013 that the Pittsburgh Pirates got back-to-back home runs to start a game. The two batters who did it last? Jose Tabata and Neil Walker.
Strong Bullpen Work
Wednesday night was a strong night for the Pirate bullpen.
Left-handed reliever Austin Davis relieved Williams with a runner on base and two outs in the 6th inning. Davis got the final out of the inning, and he has now stranded all eight runners he has inherited for the Pirates this season.
In the 7th inning, Nik Turley took the ball for the Bucs. Turley allowed a single, but retired the other three batters he faced. Chris Stratton was next up in the 8th inning and he posted a zero while striking out two. Richard Rodriguez then struck out a pair in the 9th inning on his way to picking up a save.
The Pirate bullpen pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in Wednesday night’s victory. Bucco relievers allowed two hits, walked a pair and struck out five.
At 1:35 on Thursday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates will play their final home game of the 2020 season. Chad Kuhl (5.03 ERA, 5.49 DRA) will start for the Pirates and look to finish his season on a high note. Righty Alec Mills (4.14 ERA, 4.84 DRA), who threw a no hitter in his last start, his scheduled to take the mound for the Cubs.