Devin Williams
(image from Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports)

Devin Williams Punches Wall, Breaks Throwing Hand

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Devin Williams just did something so dumb, and the baseball world is still trying to process it. Davud Stearns, president of baseball operations for the Brewers, addressed the media Wednesday afternoon. He stated that their setup man broke his right hand punching a wall and will likely undergo season ending surgery to repair the break.

The incident occurred Sunday night following the Brewers 8-4 win over the New York Mets. The win secured the first National League Central title for Milwaukee since 2018 when they finished with a 96-67 record and lost the NLCS in seven games to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Williams, 27, told media members that he had “a few drinks” and punched the wall out of anger.

“I’m pretty upset with myself,” said Williams. “I feel like I’ve let the team down, the coaching staff, the fans – everyone. I know how big a role that I play on this team and there’s a lot of people counting on me.” Devin Williams is the reigning National League Rookie of the Year after letting up just one earned run in 27 innings pitched last season. He has been very good this year, as well. His final numbers for the season look like this:

  • 2.50 ERA
  • 54.0 IP
  • 36 holds
  • 3 saves
  • 87 strikeouts
  • 14.5 K/9
  • 170 ERA+
  • 2.81 fielding independent pitching

Now his teammates in the bullpen will have to pick up his workload, but it will be hard to replicate those numbers.

“I actually just spoke with them,” Williams said Wednesday. “I expressed my apologies and they said they’ve got my back.”

How This Affects the Brewers

Williams has been one of the better relievers on one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers currently lead the entire MLB in strikeouts and third and fourth in team ERA and wins, respectively.

The Brew Crew has been led by their arms, specifically the three-headed monster of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta in the rotation and Devin Williams and Josh Hader in the bullpen. Burnes is on his way to winning a National League Cy Young award as a breakout 26-year-old. He has been dominant dating back to last season. Hader, 27, is the favorite for National League Reliever of the Year. Woodruff and Peralta are 28 and 25. These are young, electric arms that are going to give whoever they face in October serious problems at the plate.

Williams being out will hurt this team big time. If the playoffs started today, the Brewers would play the dangerous lineup of the Atlanta Braves, who fell just one win short of making the 2020 World Series. Even with Ronald Acuna Jr. out with an ACL injury, the Braves still have four 30-home run hitters in their lineup, and Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler are knocking on the door of joining that club. Without Williams, the Brewers will ask their starters to go one inning longer in each start, which would close the gap of getting to Hader. That is one extra inning of crossing your fingers that the opposing lineup doesn’t come alive. Even if they get through Atlanta, the Dodgers or San Francisco Giants will be awaiting them in the NLCS, and both have over 100 wins on the year.

Devin Williams’s recklessness should have the city of Milwaukee worried for another disappointing October. The Brewers have never won a World Series and have not made it there since 1982. They lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. In the MLB postseason, one guy can make all the difference, and I’m afraid the Brewers will struggle to get big outs late in games without Williams. Look for guys like Brad Boxberger and Brent Suter to fill his role.

The Brewers play the Cardinals, who have won 17 straight games and will play in the NL Wild Card game, tonight and have five games remaining in the regular season.

Quotes from Todd Rosiak’s piece for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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