Williams fans six, leads Scorpions to win

November 6th, 2018

A trio of San Francisco Giants prospects led by left-handed pitcher Garrett Williams stood out on Monday night as Scottsdale edged Mesa, 5-4, at Sloan Park.
Williams, the Giants' No. 20 prospect, entered the game carrying a 14-inning scoreless innings streak spanning his previous three starts for the Scorpions. Although the streak ended rather quickly when he allowed a first-inning run -- albeit on an infield error and a wild pitch -- it didn't preclude Williams from completing five innings of three-run (two earned) ball en route to his second straight win. He scattered five hits, walked one and struck out six while throwing 53 of 77 pitches for strikes, including 12 swinging strikes, in the outing.
Williams was highly effective with his fastball-slider pairing in the outing. He operated mostly at 89-92 mph with his heater, throwing it down in the zone with some late running action, and commanded it well so as to set up a sharp, late-breaking slider at 82-83 mph that he consistently spotted on the back foot of right-handed hitters.
"The breaking ball has always been in my back pocket," Williams said of the pitch that netted him four of his six strikeouts.
However, it was the 24-year-old southpaw's fastball command that was a difference maker in the outing as well as overall so far in the Fall League, where he's registered a 1.35 ERA with 21 strikeouts and seven walks in 20 innings.
"When I have the fastball command, it makes the breaking ball that much sharper and that much harder to hit," said Williams, who posted a 6.06 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 61 walks in 81 2/3 frames at Double-A Richmond during the regular season.
"I treat this as a new season ... kind of clear my mind," he said. "Came out here and started attacking the zone, got my confidence up and really relied on my fastball command. I'm happy with the way I've been throwing."
Matt Winn, a catcher in the Giants' system, backed his pitcher's outing with his first AFL home run, a game-tying solo shot in the top of the third inning.
In the following frame, Mets' No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso blasted a 1-0 offering from left-hander Justin Steele over the wall in center field for a two-run homer. Alonso's homer was his fifth in the Fall League, giving him a share of the circuit lead. Outfielder Heath Quinn, the Giants' No. 10 prospect, would later add a sacrifice fly to cap the Scorpions' three-run frame, while an Alonso opposite-field single in the sixth further extended Scottsdale's lead.

That proved more than enough run support for Williams, who retired seven of eight batters before Mesa's Daniel Woodrow tagged him for a double to begin the fifth inning. Woodrow would come around later in the frame to score on Jahmai Jones' ground out to shortstop, while a wild pitch later in frame led to another Solar Sox run.
The Solar Sox would tack on another run in the sixth inning, courtesy of a P.J. Higgins single, but ultimately came up empty against a trio of Scottsdale relievers including Giants reliever Sam Wolff, who struck out the side in the ninth to secure his first Fall League save.
The Scorpions (10-11-1) trail Salt River by 3.5 games in the AFL East after Monday's victory, while Mesa (9-12-1) dropped to 4.5 games back in division with their second straight loss.