Williams fulfills family dream by winning Chicago Cubs debut
Pitcher Trevor Williams was born and raised in San Diego, played in college at Arizona State, then reached the major leagues with Miami and Pittsburgh.
He has deep ties to the Cubs, but they mostly belong to his father, Richard, who sent a tweet before the game about loving the Cubs for as long as he can remember.
Richard grew up on the South Side and attended Brother Rice High School, before relocating to California. On Monday, he sat in the stands with a large score book and watched his son win his Cubs debut, a 5-3 victory over Milwaukee at Wrigley Field.
"You mention the score book," Trevor said in response to a question after the game. "I think he's kept score since I was in T-ball. He's got scorebooks going back years. Just the consistency that he has shown, showing up to games is something that I don't take for granted ever.
"I'm just really thankful that my brothers were able to come out as well and see this, just knowing that I've always got at least one fan in the stands when I'm pitching is something that I cherish."
Richard Williams said in a television interview he plans to attend every game Trevor pitches this season, so that score book should fill up relatively soon.
Williams, who joined the Cubs as a free agent after a disappointing year with the Pirates, was perfect through five innings but gave up his first hit to lead off the sixth. Brewers catcher Omar Narvaez swung late on an inside pitch and sent a soft groundball into left field against a shift.
"I thought he (Williams) was attacking the zone," manager David Ross said. "I thought he mixed his pitches well, I thought his slider had really good depth. I thought he had great fastball command. I felt like he was ahead of almost every hitter, especially early on, just attacking guys. It felt like he was in control right up until that last inning."
With a 4-0 lead, Ross tried to squeeze one more inning out of Williams. But the right-hander departed after giving up a walk and single in the seventh, then reliever Jason Adam surrendered a 3-run homer to Narvaez and suddenly it was 4-3.
Lefty Andrew Chafin shut the door pretty tight, striking out all four batters he faced, while former Brewer Eric Sogard hit an RBI triple off the "Airbender," Devin Williams, to make it 5-3.
Ross pulled a clever move to close the game. Not wanting to send Craig Kimbrel to the mound for a third straight day, he used Alec Mills, who no-hit the Brewers last time these teams played last Sept. 13 in Milwaukee. Mills retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Cubs (3-1) were dealt a couple of scary hit-by-pitches. Javy Baez was struck just above his right knee in the sixth inning. Then flamethrower Williams drilled Willson Contreras in the front of his helmet in the seventh. Both players stayed in the game, with Baez staying on the ground in some pain and Contreras walking straight to first without hitting the deck.
The Cubs used the long ball to build the lead. Contreras hit a 2-run blast in the fourth, which was the first hit of the game by either team. Two outs later, Baez and David Bote hit back-to-back homers to make it 4-0.
• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls