ShareThis Page
Pirates

Pirates blank Brewers as Trevor Williams continues dominance

| Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, 10:54 p.m.
The Pirates’ Adam Frazier (26) scores the second of two runs on a double by Starling Marte in the third inning as Brewers catcher Erik Kratz has the ball pop out of his glove Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at PNC Park.
The Pirates’ Adam Frazier (26) scores the second of two runs on a double by Starling Marte in the third inning as Brewers catcher Erik Kratz has the ball pop out of his glove Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at PNC Park.

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates managed to slow the playoff push of the nemesis Brewers on Saturday night as Trevor Williams continued to vex Milwaukee.

The Brewers’ offense was stymied when Williams combined with three relievers on a five-hitter that led the Pirates to a 3-0 victory.

“He’s impressive. He has a really good game plan, and he executes it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He doesn’t miss in the middle of the plate. He doesn’t give you many good pitches to hit. Our guys would tell you they probably got one good pitch to hit each — and that was in three at-bats.”

Seeking to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011, the Brewers had their NL wild-card lead cut to two games over St. Louis. Milwaukee also dropped to 2½ games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central with seven games left.

Williams (14-9) gave up four hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked one, improving to 4-0 in his last six starts. He has pitched 19 scoreless innings in three outings against the Brewers this season and is 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA in six career games against them. He is 4-2 with a 0.86 ERA in his last seven home starts.

Williams pitched six innings of two-hit ball at Milwaukee last Sunday and was worried about facing the same team in consecutive starts.

“I know they’ve seen four other pitchers between me, but it always feels like the hitting team has the competitive advantage when you see someone so close,” Williams said. “I think we executed fine with the fastball to all four corners of the strike zone.”

Rich Rodriguez, Kyle Crick and Felipe Vazquez followed with one inning each. Vazquez worked around Christian Yelich’s leadoff double in the ninth for his 36th save in 41 chances. The Pirates’ 16 shutouts are one behind Detroit, the major league leader.

Milwaukee never got a runner past second base and was shut out for the 12th time this season.

Starling Marte hit a two-run double in the third, and Colin Moran added an RBI single in the eighth.

Zach Davies (2-7) gave up two runs and four hits in four innings. He is 0-2 in four starts since being sidelined from May 30 to Sept. 2 by inflammation in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder. Davies also fell to 2-5 in his career against the Pirates.

Davies retired the first two batters in the third before Williams and Adam Frazier singled to keep the inning alive for Marte.

The Pirates won for the sixth time in seven games but trail St. Louis by 7½ games for the second NL wild card with nine games left.

Moran, Frazier and Corey Dickerson each had two of the Pirates’ 10 hits.

Marte needs one home run to become the third player in Pirates history to have at least 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in the same season. Barry Bonds did it four times, in 1987 and from 1990-92, and Andy Van Slyke pulled off the feat in ‘87 and ‘88.

Pirates RHP Joe Musgrove (stress reaction in pelvic bone/strained abdomen) was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday and will not pitch again this season. Musgrove said he first felt pain in his last start before the All-Star break in July. He finished 6-9 with a 4.06 ERA in 19 starts.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli (gastrointestinal discomfort) did not play after leaving Friday night’s game in the sixth inning.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me