Williams (2-3, 7.20 ERA), acquired from Cincinnati in May for minor league pitcher Robert Manuel, takes over the roster spot left after three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained right calf.
Williams has not pitched in the majors since May 18, when was tagged for six runs and seven hits over just three innings of the Reds’ 9-8 win over Pittsburgh.
“We’ve added to our stockpile of pitching,” Mets general manager Omar Minaya said after acquiring the left-hander. “It enables us to fill some holes caused by the injuries to some of the players we had. It gives us numbers.”
Bannister, a rookie who won his first two decisions, has been out since April 28 with a strained right hamstring. Maine, another rookie, has emerged as the Mets’ best option as a fifth starter by going 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA in five outings since July 21.
Soler, Lima and Pelfrey all were ineffective, and Gonzalez was dealt to Milwaukee the day after Williams was acquired.
Williams, who will become the 12th starter used by New York this season, has pitched three innings or less in three of his eight starts this year. He’s made four career starts against Colorado, going 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA.
Despite the revolving door on the mound, the Mets (73-48) continue to have the best record in the NL. New York opened a nine-game homestand with a 6-3 victory over Colorado (59-63) on Friday behind David Wright and Steve Trachsel.
Wright, who entered the game in a 1-for-13 slump, had a pair of run-scoring hits—including a single in the sixth inning that gave New York a 4-3 lead.
“I just tried to slow everything down,” Wright said. “I recognized pitches better. When you’re struggling, you’re anxious. I just tried to relax.”
Trachsel, the Mets’ most reliable starter over the last six seasons, gave up three runs and seven hits over seven innings to improve to 10-1 since June 9.
“I’m trying to be more efficient, trying to work the hitters,” he said. “My fastball was sharp and my curve and changeup were real good. I haven’t faced most of these guys. I tried to locate, work ahead in the count.”
Jeff Francis (9-9, 3.39) looks to continue pitching well on the road when he starts Saturday for the Rockies. The left-hander is 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 road starts, including a 2-0 mark and 1.61 ERA in his last three outings away from Coors Field.
He did not get a decision in his last start Monday against Arizona after allowing two runs and five hits over 7 1-3 innings as Colorado rallied with a run in the ninth to win 4-3.
“Outstanding,” manager Clint Hurdle said of Francis’ performance. “To pitch into the eighth inning, and the location he had throughout the game—he was so efficient. Not many balls were barreled up. He continues to stand out. Since the second half, the numbers are eye-opening.”
In his only career start against the Mets, Francis limited New York to two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-3 win on July 26, 2005.
Garrett Atkins hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot, and starting pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim added an RBI single in a three-run fourth Friday for Colorado, which remained three games behind the NL wild card-leading Reds.