Ok, we all know the Pittsburgh Pirates let one get away last night. It stung a little bit as the Bucs put together just enough offense to have a late lead, but victory escaped. Hometown Neil Walked homered, and Brandon Wood who was playing third base had two knocks.
Starter Paul Maholm gave up five hits in seven innings, but the king of the scrapheap blew it when he allowed two runs off just one Houston Astros hit.
This young Buccos team bounces back well as they are unbeatable in the last six after a defeat.
Charlie Morton holds the key to setting up a Sunday afternoon rubber match. Electric stuff has allowed only 34 hits and 15 earned runs while getting 19 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. In Morton’s last start at PNC it was similar to last night. He left the game with a 2-1 lead, but the bullpen surrended two runs in a 10-inning loss to the Giants.
All of Morton’s starts against the Astros have come in Houston. He has an ERA of 9.00 in 19 innings against the ‘Stros.
But one would need to believe that those numbers are the old Charlie. The new Charlie Morton is working on a number of things including a sinker grip, a changed arm slot, alignment, and well, as you know, the list is certainly extensive. It’s funny reading articles talking about his lack of strikeouts, the amount of walks, and if he doesn’t change those he won’t be around long. No shit.
What interests us is watching a pitcher re-invent himself on the mound. The Roy Halladay comparisions sound great, but come on. Those are in appearance only, not achievement. Let’s let Charlie get to at least fifteen starts and then we can really determine what path might could lie ahead. He is working on so many things it’s difficult for us to dissect just what will be working for the talented right hander.
He faces an Astros team that has struckout 247 times, good for sixth worst in the league. Tonight would be an opportunity for Charlie to get a few swing and miss. What it won’t be a night for is walking hitters. The Astros have 31 steals good for second in the NL. How well Morton does should the speedy Astros top of the order reach base will be a test.
Bud Norris will be on the mound opposite Morton. Norris has pitched 35.2 innings and allowed 33 hits and 12 earned runs. He has some nice swing and miss with 43 strikeouts on the year.
Set the Tivo for a great game tonight in Pittsburgh.