Can Charlie Morton Pull Another Houdini-Like Performance?
By Tom Smith
Charlie Morton should be known to Pittsburgh Pirates fans as Harry Houdini. The pitcher has been buried alive. He has been bashed because of his ‘mental makeup.’ There have been jokes, songs, and countless calls to sports radio about the right hander. And lately, Morton has escaped from numerous strait jacket like situations right in front of our very eyes.
Morton is a punching bag. He has been ridiculed more than modern illusionist David Blaine. Perhaps we should have compared him to Blaine, because as Wiki says, Blaine is an endurance artist. Charlie seems to be getting through this god awful of a season.
Whatever your opinion of Morton, it really doesn’t matter. The Pirates need him more than anyone to get his act together in his next two starts. In a season of must win situations for Morton, this will be the latest. We want to see if he is he fixed. Can he consistently pitch well enough for the Pirates to win? Or will he dominate an oppositions lineup again?
Morton pitched in two games on the road trip. He faced the Reds and Mets. He gave up eleven hits and five runs in 11.1 innings pitched. Against the Reds, Morton started ok.
In the first inning, he made a nice pickoff move to get one Redleg and also struckout Joey Votto. In the second inning, he got a double play ball with the bases loaded. He did it again in the fourth inning. He got into trouble in the seventh inning and would only get one out before being lifted.
His start in New York was mind boggling too. He flirted with disaster on numerous occassions, but kept escaping. Yes it was supernatural phenomena.
In the first inning, he stranded Pagan after giving up a two-out base hit.
In the second inning, Morton issued a leadoff walk, got two flyouts, another walk and then a ground out stranded both Mets.
In the third inning, Morton got the Mets 1-2-3 including a strikeout of Pagan which would be his only K of the game.
In the fourth inning, a quick out was followed by two singles and then Morton hung a change up to Duda (he of the Mendoza like average) which was drilled for a two-run double. A walk followed and then Morton squirmed out ala David Blaine by getting Reyes to fly out with runners on second and third.
In the fifth inning, the dreaded lead off walk happened again and then Pagan reached on a beautiful bunt base hit, but once again Morton went to the bag of tricks to get a double play ball. Morton would get the final out on a flyout.
In the clubhouse after the game, Dejan caught up with Morton. [Give it ten seconds or so, because Morton is responding to another reporter}
Break out some Street Magic tonight Charlie Morton. The Pirates need it.
Remember all of this mess by Morton? Glad that is over. (Gulp) I was really excited to see those six strikeouts. But look who it was against… SwingandMissizona.
4/9 @ ARI: 3.1 IP, 1 HR, 6 SO, 1 BB, 4 FB, 2 GB, 8 LD guys (Arizona is 4th in K’s in the MLB), and the people he struck out include Mark Reynolds, Connor Jackson, and Miguel Montero (twice).
4/14 @ SF: 6 IP, 3 HR, 3 SO, 0 BB, 7 FB, 10 GB, 4 LD