Charlie Morton Has a Good Outing in Return From DL

Charlie Morton started tonight for the first time since August 15 and helped to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a three game series. Morton threw five innings, giving up four hits, walking two batters and striking out six. He threw 92 pitches, 65 for strikes and his sinker sat in the high 80s to low 90s. This was a classic Charlie Morton start, as he induced six ground ball outs, and got out of a four inning jam with a key double play.

“I thought his stuff was consistent tonight,” Hurdle said after the game. “I thought his sinker played well, a lot of first pitch strikes, which is imperative to throw against this club. The curveball played well, the change-up played well at times.”

Morton said that he “felt the same” health-wise pitching tonight as he has since the sports hernia occurred in early June. With his performance tonight, he was asked if he was disappointed that he went on the DL last month, instead of pitching through the injury. Morton says he took advantage of rest and treatments that he hopes will help push him through the end of the season and into the playoffs.

“The element of rest, treatments, not pitching in high intensity situations, you have to take that into account. Because when you’re pitching in the Big Leagues you stay on a routine. When you start, you aggravate [the injury] pitching. Day one you’re in the weight room getting your work done, Day two you’re on the mound again and Day three you’re in the weight room again. So really you need a couple of days to recoup and there really wasn’t that work load in the past month,” Morton explained.

Going forward, Morton says he will go day-by-day. Hurdle said that Morton tested well with the trainers after the start, and they will know more about his availability going forward within the next couple of days.

  • I’m just glad ground chuck showed up and upchuck stayed down.

  • I don’t know why people don’t want Morton in the rotation or are surprised when he pitches well. He has a lower ERA and opponents batting average than Cole.

    • Well, to be honest, Cole has been a disappointment so far.

      He is a fine #3 or #4 pitcher, but he needs to take that next step, imo.

      • I completely agree with that. He has not lived up to expectations to this point.

      • Seems the expectations, particularly after his hot late season last year, were a bit bloated. 1st full year in the major this year and worked around injuries. Needs to take a step forward but not a bad year for what amounts to his rookie year. Plenty of future AS pitchers have struggled in the early years year (Price in ’09, King Felix in ’06, Kershaw in ’08).

  • I was surprised at the results, but Morton pretty much pitched the way he did in August in Altoona. But to be honest, that Red Sox lineup, with an exception or two, could just as easily been playing for Pawtucket. However,I am certainly glad the Pirates won.

    • They had some MLB guys on the field – Nava batted .300 last year. Cespedes is one of the best young players in baseball. Middlebrooks is a 3rd year starter. Craig made an appearance. Napoli is in his 9th season. Everyone else in the lineup seemed like a young player in their 1st or 2nd year.

    • If he threw that many strikes in August for Altoona, he must have looked decent. Pitch count was up but he attacked the zone and used his stuff well. Gave up a few hard hit doubles, but never back to back. If his sinker is working like that, he is effective. Sox arent the most dangerous lineup, but they do have 4-5 ML level hitters and a few talented youngins.

  • Bucs played a clean defensive game behind Chuck for a change. In the post-game, I thought Chuck was choosing words carefully and being very diplomatic in trying to not show he was upset for being sidelined… yet still basically said, “I don’t feel any better.”

    Surprised Brews won in extras after taking out ARam & Lucroy for pinch runners in 9th. Since Cards aren’t sweeping, Brews can’t be eliminated this week. Still dangerous…

    • It might be the first clean defensive game of the season behind Charlie. Sure the Brewers can’t be eliminated this week, but on the bright side the division is still in play. STL-MIL is really a mo lose situation for the Bucs. Plus, wouldn’t it feel better to eliminate the Brew Crew ourselves?

      • but on the bright side the division is still in play

        That is what EYE am rooting for…first and foremost.

        Just win, baby

        Foo Davis

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