For at least one glorious evening, Trevor Williams re-captured that second-half magic from 2018. Williams threw six scoreless innings versus the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 24, limiting the Pirates' division rival — and occasional pro wrestling opponent — to three hits. Despite his modest velocity, he pumped fastballs to the corners of the zone and induced feeble contact. He looked like the breakout pitcher who conjured up memories of Jake Arrieta circa 2015 while posting a 1.38 ERA after the All-Star break last season.
Unfortunately, Williams has rarely been in top form in 2019. His ERA has ballooned by more than two full runs (from 3.11 in '18 to 5.35), and he has been throttled since returning from a side injury that shelved him for about a month. Pitchers with Williams' stuff — low-90s heat, a decent slider, a show-me changeup — have to be surgical on the mound. And too often this season, his command has been off just enough to get crushed.