Trevor Williams Cubs Debut Was Just About As Good As It Gets

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Trevor Williams Cubs Debut Was Just About As Good As It Gets

Chicago Cubs

In the most important ways, Trevor Williams’ Cubs debut couldn’t have gone any better. That is to say, his family was there watching and supporting him, thrilled by what they got to see.

I’ll mark that down as the most important thing:

But the performance, too, was nearly as magical. Williams was perfect through five innings, holding onto a shutout through six innings, and being charged with a couple runs only after he’d departed the game in the seventh. On the whole, Williams went 6.0 innings, allowing just two earned runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out six, and generated an eye-popping 17 whiffs on 85 pitches.

It wasn’t just a great first start with the Cubs or a great start for Williams, it was one of the best starts in baseball last night:

That’s Williams, just ahead of Jacob deGrom, in getting the highest percentage of called strikes and swinging strikes on the night. He had all five of his pitches working, with at least four of those called strikes/whiffs coming on each of his five pitches – four-seamer, sinker, changeup, curveball, slider. It just all worked for him.

One of the best parts about Williams’ outing, in addition to the strike and strikeouts, obviously, is that he allowed just ONE ball in play that, based on the quality of contact, had a better than .400 expected batting average (the single he gave up to Avisail Garcia that ended his night). He had a whopping eight balls in play that had xBA of .170 or under (i.e., terrible contact).

We’ll see how Williams looks the next time out, but for last night, he clearly carried forward the work he’d put in for Spring Training in getting his mechanics back to where they were a couple years ago, and when you can command five different big-league-caliber pitches, you’re going to have success.

A couple more bits:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.