Wednesday, October 13, 2010
#741) DAVE WILLIAMS
Dave Williams was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Mets in exchange for Robert Manuel on May 25, 2006. He was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk and made his Mets debut at Shea Stadium on August 19th. The left-hander was given the starting assignment in place of an injured Pedro Martinez. "I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity," said Williams after the victory. He became the 12th different pitcher to start for the team during the 2006 season, but had to leave in the sixth-inning due to leg cramps. The Mets would accomplish a come-from-behind 7-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on an evening that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Championship team.
Williams was asked to make five starts during the closing six weeks of the 2006 season. Finishing with a fine 3-1 record despite a high 5.59 ERA. "That's what they brought me here to do, is to compete and keep the game close," Dave said. "Obviously, the offense is going to score runs, and my job is to put up zeroes." Surprisingly the Mets chose to leave Williams off the postseason roster. A rainout of NLCS Game 1 in St. Louis caused the loss of a travel day in the series with the Cardinals. The Mets concerned over a possible shortage of pitching then unsuccessfully petitioned Major League Baseball to add him.
During that winter New York resigned him to a one-year contract to compete for a spot in the rotation. In February it was revealed that Dave had undergone surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. A long rehabilitation period followed, but the southpaw returned to the Mets roster on July 8, 2007. That day in his start against the Houston Astros he surrendered eight runs in 3-1/3 innings of work. Williams was designated for assignment when Oliver Perez came off the disabled list on July 15th.
After clearing waivers, Dave joined Triple-A New Orleans until being added back to the New York roster in September. Williams made his final appearance as a Met when he threw the ninth inning of a 13-4 blow-out loss to the Washington Nationals at Shea Stadium. He allowed three earned runs in the frame and closed the season with a 22.85 ERA.
Dave was granted free agency by the Mets and signed with the Yokohama Bay Stars of Japan's Central League for the 2008 season.
Dave Williams signed his card in the set for my friend Tom during the Washington Nationals 2009 spring training camp in Viera, Florida.