I told you guys about Trevor Williams! This is going to be the best signing Jed Hoyer made all offseason.
Williams retired the first 15 Milwaukee hitters he faced in a strong Cubs debut and three Cubs smashed home runs in a 5-3 win over the Brewers on a very pleasant Chicago evening for early April.
I really almost can’t say enough about those first five innings. Williams changed speeds and mixed his pitches well. He struck out six and had seven ground ball outs over that span — just two Brewers hit the ball out of the infield through five.
Brett Anderson matched Williams through three innings and then the Cubs got to work. Ian Happ drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, the game’s first baserunner.
Willson Contreras was the next hitter [VIDEO].
Contreras’ first homer of 2021 was also his first hit of the year.
Two outs later, Javier Baez went oppo [VIDEO].
David Bote then joined the home run party [VIDEO].
Just that quickly, it was 4-0 Cubs. And that ball was crushed! (Check out the launch angle, too.)
#Brewers 0 @ #Cubs 4 [B4-2o]:— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) April 6, 2021
David Bote homers (1): line drive to CF (solo)
Hit: 421ft, 111.2mph , 19°
Pitch: 89mph Sinker (LHP Brett Anderson, 3)
Williams finally was touched for a single leading off the sixth by Omar Narvaez, sliced to left field opposite the shift. (That’s for you “ban the shift” folks.) It’s the second time in less than a week that Narvaez broke up a no-hitter (he also did so last Saturday against the Twins). The Brewers wound up loading the bases, but Williams got Keston Hiura to hit into an inning-ending double play [VIDEO].
In the seventh, Williams issued a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich and then Avisail Garcia singled. That was it for Trevor after 85 pitches (57 strikes) and he left to a standing ovation from the 10,343 in attendance, including his dad, a lifelong Cubs fan [VIDEO].
If you missed this in the game preview, Williams’ dad was bursting with pride even before the game:
Since my earliest memories I have loved the Cubs. Tonight, I will watch with pride as my son takes the mound wearing a Cub uniform. It will be a moment that I will never forget! Go Cubs Go!!!— RICHARD WILLIAMS (@SDRICH7777) April 5, 2021
Not only that, Williams’ dad keeps score! [VIDEO]
Rich Williams is this cool:
Williams' dad still wouldn't take tickets from his son. A teammate came through.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 6, 2021
Williams: "I said, 'I'm not getting you tickets, but the Heywards want to give you tickets, is that OK?' And he said, 'Of course.'"
Said it was a pro move by Heyward and his wife. https://t.co/2EcM3AKDKS
Back to the game. Jason Adam relieved Williams and retired the next two hitters and almost got out of the inning and... uh-oh, Omar Narvaez smashed a three-run homer. So it’s now 4-3, two of those runs charged to Williams.
The Cubs got one of those runs right back in the bottom of the inning. Jake Marisnick led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on a fly to right. Eric Sogard drove him in [VIDEO].
Sogard was stranded at third, but the Cubs had an important insurance run.
Andrew Chafin, who had finished the seventh in relief of Adam, struck out the side in the eighth on just 11 pitches, including a K of Yelich to end the inning [VIDEO].
The Cubs also went out 1-2-3 in the eighth, and that left it up to Craig Kimbrel in the ninth... wait, no, no it didn’t, entering the game for the save opportunity was... Alec Mills?
Well, that’s different, David Ross! Of course, the last time Mills faced the Brewers, he no-hit them last September. And Mills calmly retired them 1-2-3 on just 14 pitches, finishing it off with a K of Luis Urias [VIDEO].
Mills began spring training as the likely fifth starter, but with Adbert Alzolay (Tuesday’s starter) taking that slot, Mills moved to the pen as ... well, we weren’t quite sure. Long relief? Middle relief? Monday, he closed, and why not? Glad to see Mills adaptable to multiple roles.
And so, my friends, the complaint department is definitely closed this morning.
So happy for Trevor Williams, his dad, and the Cubs, who since the Opening Day mess have looked very, very good. Here was the key to Williams’ success:
What did Contreras think made Trevor Williams so effective Monday night?— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) April 6, 2021
"Man, strike one. Strike one makes the difference," said the catcher. "It basically was strike one almost to every hitter. That opens a lot of doors."
Indeed, Williams filled up the zone on 1st pitch. pic.twitter.com/mCK7W6TzWA
The Cubs will go for their fourth straight win Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. As noted above, Adbert Alzolay will get the call for the Cubs and Freddy Peralta will start for the Brewers. Game time is again 6:40 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.