If the Seattle Mariners had called up Brandon Williamson in 2021 and he’d posted 5.2 IP of 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K ball, nobody would have batted an eye. As he blistered his way through High-A and AA hitters that year to the tune of a 3.39 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 153/33 K/BB across 98.1 total IP.
Since coming to the Cincinnati Reds it has been a vastly different story across AA-AAA. The strikeouts have dried up this year (7.1 K/9 for Louisville) while the walks have jumped (5.3 BB/9), and those two sure do seem to go hand in hand - when opponents know you’re struggling to find the zone, they won’t swing nearly as freely.
None of that seemed to bother him in his MLB debut on the road in Coors Field, however, something that very few pitchers of any experience get to say. Tonight, Williamson will get to show what he can do at home in Great American Ball Park against the surging St. Louis Cardinals beginning at 6:40 PM ET, yet another scenario that hardly profiles as a cakewalk.
Jordan Montgomery will be on the mound for St. Louis, meaning this will be a matchup of lefties. The Reds currently boast a collective .126 ISO against LHP so far this season - 2nd worst in all of baseball to Cleveland - so it will be interesting to see if the pop shows up this evening. Montgomery has allowed 9 ER over his last 2 GS (10.1 IP), so perhaps the time is right.
On a sadder note, longtime Cardinals scribe Rick Hummel passed away today at age 77. He covered the club for some 50 years and his impact on the organization and his peers around the game was immeasurable. Rest in peace, Commish.
The Cardinals and all of baseball were saddened to learn today of the passing of Hall of Fame writer and friend Rick Hummel at the age of 77.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) May 22, 2023
Hummel, nicknamed the “Commish”, covered the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 50 years before retiring after the 2022… pic.twitter.com/kBUM7XsLOG