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Angels reliever Jerome Williams seems to have rubber arm

April 30, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • After throwing six innings and allowing four hits during the Angels' 19-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics, 10-8, Jerome Williams said he was good for another two innings on Tuesday.
After throwing six innings and allowing four hits during the Angels'… (Morry Gash / Associated…)

OAKLAND — Mike Scioscia passed Jerome Williams in the Angels clubhouse Tuesday afternoon and asked how the right-hander was feeling after throwing six innings and 74 pitches, giving up four hits and one unearned run, in Monday night’s 10-8, 19-inning loss to the Oakland Athletics.

“I’m good,” Williams told the Angels manager. “I can give you two innings tonight.”

Scioscia laughed, knowing full well that Williams would be down Tuesday after absorbing so many innings Monday. Williams, though, was not kidding.

“My arm feels great — seriously — I played long-toss today at, what, 200 feet? Ask Dane,” Williams said, nodding to fellow reliever Dane De La Rosa.

“Five-hundred feet,” De La Rosa said with a grin.

“Thank you, Taiwan,” Williams said.

Williams was never known for his conditioning early in his career, his weight problems leading the San Francisco Giants to trade him to the Chicago Cubs in 2005 and the Cubs to eventually release him.

But Williams spent the 2010 season in Taiwan, where 200-pitch, in-between-starts bullpen sessions and throwing multiple days a week were the norm. Williams returned to the U.S. with a stronger and more durable arm.

“I threw a lot in Taiwan, and it comes in handy,” Williams said. “Whenever you give me the ball, I’m going to throw no matter how long they want me to throw or how short.”

Williams opened the season as a long reliever, pitching mostly in mop-up situations, but with an 11-inning stretch over three appearances in which he allowed no earned runs and four hits, he has earned a more prominent role.

Williams entered in the 10th inning Monday night and delivered the equivalent of a quality start, giving the Angels a chance to win.

“I guess you could say it was adrenaline, but I felt good,” Williams said. “Every time I came back to the dugout and they asked me how I felt, I said I’m fine. My arm felt good. I was attacking everyone. I could have gone a couple more innings.”

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