In a forgettable start, to say the least, Pittsburgh Pirates’ right-hander Charlie Morton turned in a less-than-stellar outing against the Houston Astros on Sunday, surrendering seven earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work.
The righty is vying for the third spot in the Pittsburgh rotation, but he has been a mixed bag in Grapefruit League action. Sunday marked Morton’s third outing of the spring – and really, his first rough outing. He made his 2015 debut back on March 5 against the New York Yankees, tossing a pair of scoreless innings – striking out one.
He came back six days later, taking the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies, throwing three innings – before taking the next 11 days off – a run that ended with his start Sunday against Houston. It wasn’t even that just Morton struggled for the Bucs – fellow ‘Charlie’ – Charlie Leesman was rocked, as well – surrendering six runs (five earned) in just two-thirds of an inning.
Last season for the Pirates, Morton compiled a 6-12 record to go along with a 3.72 earned run average in 26 games spanning 157 1/3 innings. Opposing batters hit just .247 against the right-hander, who posted a 1.27 WHIP – much improved from his career mark.
Although it was just a bump in the road this spring, keep an eye for how Charlie Morton bounces back in his next time out after getting lit up on Sunday. We’ll have a full recap of the game against Houston up once it goes final.