Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – The (really) Good Morton


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.

The good Morton showed up. Or was he the really good Morton?

Simply put, Charlie Morton went and had himself a night, going for 6.2 innings and striking out eight. Allowing only four hits and two walks, Morton held an admittedly short-handed San Francisco Giants lineup in check. In fact, aside from a bases loaded jam later in the game, Morton was never really in any danger.  It was a shot in the arm that most benefited a weary bullpen. Although Tony Watson and Jared Hughes did appear, they each worked efficient appearances, highlighted by Hughes needing only 16 pitches to get through 1.1 IP.

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It goes without saying that an effective Charlie Morton would answer a lot of questions about the back end of the rotation. With efficient outings like yesterday’s (Morton threw 60 of his 92 pitches for strikes), Morton can perhaps give the team a secondary contribution by allowing Mark Melancon, Antonio Bastardo, and others a breather, regardless of the final outcome.

Help is on the way.

Although you could make the argument that this team does not require any reinforcements,  they are on the way in the form of Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer. Both are nearing completion of rehab stints, with Clint Hurdle advising the media that there is a chance that they may be back with the big-league club by the end of the Giants series. One needs only tune to any sports talk radio platform they prefer to hear the raging debate over the lineup when these two get back. Jung Ho Kang continued building his resume to remain an everyday starter with a 2-for-4 night last night.

In this weekly insider column, Dejan Kovacevic posits that management is already in the “Kang plays everyday camp.” Please do yourself a favor and check out the column (and his site), but here is the money quote:

"Clint Hurdle tossed out all kinds of hints and other vague offerings to those of us squeezed into his office Thursday, this regarding how he’ll navigate the lineup once Harrison and Mercer return. Hurdle would only say, “We’ve got a plan,” and that he’d rather share it first with the players themselves than with the public. I’ve heard only one part of this plan concretely, and I heard it last week in St. Louis: Jung Ho Kang will play. One way or another, he’ll play, either at short or third."

Pirates talk on the web

Tribune-Review beat man Travis Sawchik has more on the upcoming left-side logjam.

USA Today identifies Kang and Francisco Cervelli as big playoff-push catalysts.

CBS Sports has more on the Woo epidemic.

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