The Pittsburgh Pirates starter Charlie Morton walked to the mound at Miller Park with a 2-0 lead. It was courtesy of Neil Walker’s two-run blast off Dave Bush in the top of the first inning. Morton promptly took a deep breath and fired a 93mph heater down the middle. He followed it with strike two and then Weeks hit a line shot of the handle at Walker who grabbed the first out.
Ryan Braun drilled the first pitch which was middle middle followed a richochet off the glove/body of Morton to bring up Prince Fielder. It was a weakness of Morton in the past, when runners reached base, Morton had struggled. He went away twice on Fielder to fall behind 2-0. On the third pitch away, Lastings Milledge snared the hard hit ball for the second out. The Pirates faithful could exhale. Or could they?
Casey McGehee, who is being called Mr August because of a pile of RBI this month, followed and worked a full-count walk. Morton’s pitches had serious movement and he seemed to be struggling to locate his fastball. Chris Dickerson drilled a two-out, two run changeup that was up and middle for a base knock into right field.
Morton fell behind 2-0 to Escobar and Interim Pitching Coach Ray Searage quickly came out of the Pirates dugout. A pickoff attempt of Dickerson ended up in right field and McGehee jogged home to make it 3-2 Brewers. Mercifully, Ronny Cedeno gloved a weak roller and tossed the ball to Garrett Jones for the final out of the inning.
Welcome back Charlie. We missed your electric stuff.
With a runner on first and third and nobody out in the second inning, the Pirates were set to have an inning. Ronny Cedeno bunted. Yeh, bunted. That’s about all I could take. I had to send my boy outside to play, there was no way he was watching this putrid brand of baseball.
The Pirates failed to score in the inning.
The bottom of the second might give yet another indication why Morton has even less confidence. Last season, the Pirates were one of the best defensive clubs in MLB. In 2010, the Pirates play defense like its the NBA All-Star Game.
The fastball was good for Morton, the changeup was drilled. Repeatedly.
He threw too many curveballs for my liking. The last one gave the Brewers an 8-3 lead. It was crushed for a two-run homer by Ryan Braun, the vampire known as Bill in the post below, and that was the final pitch he would throw on this day.
The Pirates also were horrid defensively. Repeatedly.
The defense was terrible and didn’t provide any true support for Morton. It was an awful display of baseball in what should have been a good indication of what Morton would be capable of doing the remainder of 2010 and more importantly in the future. Morton is back from the dead, but it seems as if it was more ‘survival of the dead’ on this day.
He went 3.1IP, allowed nine hits, seven earned runs, one walk, and had two strikeouts.
Morton’s pitch breakdowns from BrooksBaseball