View Full Version : Spotlight on Williams in debut today

04-09-2006, 12:08 AM

Spotlight on Williams in debut today
By Hal McCoy

Dayton Daily News

CINCINNATI | The focus the past few days has been on Sean Casey's return to Cincinnati, his first appearance since the Cincinnati Reds traded him to Pittsburgh in December.

Today's game
Who: Pirates (Santos 0-1) at Reds (Williams 0-0)
When: 1:15 p.m.
Radio: WLW-AM (700); WONE-AM (980)

How about Dave Williams? Where is his attention? He is the guy the Reds acquired from the Pirates for Casey and me makes his Reds debut today, starting against the Pirates.

"Spring training was rough for me, as it always is, but I'm getting a clean slate and hopefully I'll have a successful season," he said. Williams was 1-2 this spring with a 6.75 ERA and gave up 29 hits in 20 innings. "I always tell my agent that one day spring training is going to get me released.

"When Lloyd McClendon managed Pittsburgh he called me in (after spring training) and said, 'You're in the fifth spot, but you're on a short leash,' which was fine with me. Next thing you know, I'm leading the team in wins. He asked me, 'Hey, what happened?', and I said, 'Well, the bell rang.'"

The Cincinnati bell rings for Williams today.

Blowing up Burnitz

Pittsburgh's Jeromy Burnitz swung at a pitch in the dirt from Kent Mercker to strike out and end Friday night's game, dipping Burnitz to 1 for 26 for his career against Mercker.

Asked about it, Mercker covered his ears and said, "I didn't hear that. I did NOT hear that." Superstitious, huh?

"I had a feeling it was something like that or they wouldn't have had my sad butt in there," he said. "I struck him out with a drop-down change-up, a pitch I'd never thrown so I know he'd never seen it.

"The thing is, last year he hit a rocket off my wrist and ricocheted to third baseman Richie Aurilia and he made a great play," Mercker added. "And two years ago in Wrigley he hit one against the wind that was caught. Without the wind, it clears Addison Street."

Blowing up Maddux

Manager Jerry Narron was discussing the catching schedule for when Jason LaRue comes off the disabled list Tuesday and said, "The only day he won't catch next week if Wednesday because Javier Valentin is going to catch if he is alive."

That's because the Reds face Chicago's Greg Maddux in Wrigley Field and Valentin hits Maddux like a soft-throwing pitching machine 6 for 10 with four homers.

"You need to see as many pitches against him as you can," said Valentin. "None of his pitches are going to be down the middle and you'll see lots of off-speed stuff. He wants you to put it in play and get yourself out. You are going to get one good pitch to hit from him per at-bat and you better not miss it."

Blowing up second base

Two writers were chatting with pitcher Matt Belisle when fellow pitcher David Weathers walked by and said, "Hey, Matt, you play second base, too?"

It was a reference to the Reds acquiring Brandon Phillips, the fourth second baseman on the roster. Amazingly, the writers were talking to Belisle about Phillips.

"That guy can really play some defense," said Belisle. "He is so smooth, so good. I played in the minors against him and in the Arizona Fall League.

He is fun to watch. I saw him mostly play shortstop, but he is just as good at second base."

Blowing the location

Even Sean Casey's father, Jim, is confused about his son's trade from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. After Friday's game, the elder Casey was standing outside the Reds clubhouse for quite a while.

Finally, he was asked what he was doing and he said, "Waiting for Sean."

Told that Sean was in the visiting clubhouse with the Pirates, Jim Casey slapped his head with both hands and said, "My gosh, I forgot."

Blowing up an AB

During Friday night's 7-6 victory over the Pirates, Ken Griffey Jr. came to bat in the eighth inning with one out and the bases loaded. He swung at the first pitch and popped to third base.

"That was bad enough," said Griffey. "But what really ticked me off was hearing the umpire (Ed Hickox) yell, 'Infield fly rule, the batter's out,' even before I left the batter's box.'"

Denorfia optioned

Outfielder Chris Denorfia is a player everybody seems to like a player like former Reds outfielder Brady Clark, now a star in Milwaukee. Like Clark, though, Denorfia can't seem to stick in Cincinnati.

He was optioned to Class AAA Louisville during spring training, then recalled when outfielder Quinton McCracken was place on the DL. Now, even though is 2 for 2 with two runs this season, he was optioned back to Louisville Saturday to make room for the club's fourth second baseman, Brandon Phillips.

Find this article at:

Puig Your Red
04-09-2006, 12:21 AM
The only day he won't catch next week if Wednesday because Javier Valentin is going to catch if he is alive."

Hahaha what a great quote!

I hope Dave Williams gets off to a good start here. He wasn't a bad pitcher last year by any means, but will forever be the guy we traded Casey for in many of our fans minds.

04-09-2006, 12:31 AM
Hahaha what a great quote!
will forever be the guy we traded Casey

Thats why I love him!

04-09-2006, 12:54 AM
The guy that worries me the most in this rotation is Dave Williams. He has a terrible K/BB rate coupled with a propensity for giving up HRs. That's a recipe for disaster in most places, and especially in GABP.

04-09-2006, 12:59 AM
I would look for Williams to get rocked tomorrow and the start after that. He will be replaced soon.

04-09-2006, 01:28 AM
ive often wondered who has the advantage when a pitcher faces his old team for the first time? does he know how to pitch the batters he sat by the previous year in the dugout and thus knows what to throw and when, or do the batters now know his tendencies better than other players would? or..does it just cancel out :)

ive seen it work both ways, what do you all think? i am kind of concerned the pirates may light him up in this situation

04-09-2006, 02:03 AM
I'm guessing Williams will give up 4 runs in 6 IP, 4 K, 3 BB

Belisle, Coffey, and Weathers throw scoreless innings for the win, first good night for the pen this year. Reds offense squeaks by with 6 runs, highlighted by a Griffey homerun.

Lets prepare to go to Wrigley with a 5-1 record.

04-09-2006, 02:42 AM
Does Williams cut hair, too?

Ron Madden
04-09-2006, 02:48 AM
Dave Williams kinda scares me but I wish him well.

In my opinion there are a few players on this 25 man roster that shouldn't be here and there are a few in Lousiville that should be in Cincinnati.

I have very little faith in some of these guys.

I'll just root for the players we have, no matter how much drives me crazy untiil they are replaced with more talented players.

04-09-2006, 05:37 AM
Maybe someone can answer me this - has there been any reasoning given as to why Williams hasn't had a start until today?

04-09-2006, 07:28 AM
Maybe someone can answer me this - has there been any reasoning given as to why Williams hasn't had a start until today?

I think to make sure the top starters (Harang, Arroyo, Claussen) pitch every five days.

04-09-2006, 10:07 AM
Williams might surprise us against his old team. Seems to be a motivation for most players the first time they face their old mates, even when they don't admit it. On the other hand April is his worst month statistically and May his best. He starts slow, pitches well for a couple of months then hits a snag in July (tired arm?) brefore rebounding into frorm in August and September. Pretty normal looking splits actually as most pitchers have a midseason lull before finding their second wind. I'm not worried about him per se....but he is what he is...at best a number three or four starter.

04-09-2006, 10:25 AM
How tough is it two sweep a 4 game series. A team that is 0-6. but go williams.

04-09-2006, 11:25 AM
Maybe someone can answer me this - has there been any reasoning given as to why Williams hasn't had a start until today?

Gee, it's only the 6th game of the season. It's not like he's been passed over many times. Harang was able to pitch yesterday on his normal rest. So, today is the first day that Williams is needed. If the Reds had not had any off days, Williams would have pitched the last game.

04-09-2006, 01:29 PM
Maybe someone can answer me this - has there been any reasoning given as to why Williams hasn't had a start until today?
5th starters get the shaft in terms of pitching regularly, Claussen got it last year, don't think he pitched till the 19th.

04-09-2006, 08:37 PM
six innings 2 ER. Gotta like that from a "5th" starter

04-09-2006, 08:39 PM
he pitched well if the offense woulda gave him alil support early only made the one mistake to wilson on his homer

04-09-2006, 08:40 PM
I will give Williams props for making my call look stupid, but I don't expect the same results from the next start(though the Cards have had a history recently of problems with junk lefties, remember Lance Davis).