The Angels, scrambling to find someone to take Tommy Hanson's spot in the rotation, will turn to Williams for the second game of a three-game series against the Red Sox -- three days after the 31-year-old started against the Cardinals.
Williams' Wednesday outing saw him give up seven runs while recording only five outs. But there was a blessing in disguise: He only threw 55 pitches -- 45 of which came in a second inning he didn't finish -- and now he believes he'll be good to go on two days' rest.
"I'm just going to go out there and throw," said Williams, 5-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 games (10 starts) this season. "That's my job. I did it numerous times in Taiwan, independent ball. Whatever they need me to do to help, I'll do it."
Williams has only started on two days' rest one time in his career. It was April 19, 2005, when he gave up four runs in four innings three days after pitching two-thirds of an inning out of the bullpen for the Giants. This situation seems even more challenging, given how many pitches he threw his last time out, and it'll come against a Red Sox team that came into a weekend series with the most runs scored in the Majors.
But Williams has been moved in and out of the rotation all season and, as Mike Scioscia said, "He's bounced back great from whatever we've asked him to do."
He pitched six innings out of the bullpen in a 19-inning game against the A's on April 29, then made six turns through the rotation, then compiled 12 innings in an eight-day stretch from June 8-16, then made three more turns through the rotation.
Now, a new challenge.
"It'll be different," Williams said. "But I'm sure I've done it at some point."
The Angels are off on Monday and Thursday, with the four-day All-Star break following four days later. Williams can start again on Friday -- giving him five days' rest after extending himself -- and the Angels won't need a fifth starter until July 23.
By then, perhaps Hanson (right forearm strain) or Jason Vargas (blood clot in left armpit) -- or both -- can be back.
"I wasn't a pitcher, but I would think you're chomping' at the bit to get out there and get another shot at it after you've struggled," Scioscia said. "If Jerome wasn't quite recovered enough, he would've been fine pitching last week in Chicago. He's up for it, he wants to get out there, and hopefully he'll give us what we're looking for tomorrow."