For those of you that have been following the blog and me on twitter for the better part of three Pirates seasons is that I am a huge Charlie Morton fan. Last season I was one of the few that stuck up for the kid and I had really high hopes for him coming into this season when most people wouldn’t have batted an eye if he got cut.
Charlie had a great start of the season and then really took a nose dive in June and pitched a little bit better in July. After a rough start against the Phillies last week there were more than a few people on twitter and in the live blog that were calling for Morton to be taken out of the rotation all together. I was absolutely stunned. What does Chuck do tonight? Seven shutout innings. You know, I didn’t hear much about yanking him out of the rotation tonight.
Granted, tonight’s lineup by the Cubs featured seven right handed hitters, and we know that Charlie struggles against lefties, but it was still a great bounce back effort from him. The platoon splits he has against lefties and righties is for another post, but this was a performance that the Pirates had to have.
Unfortunately for Chuck the Pirates offense thought Paul Maholm was on the mound and got him zero run support. The Pirates only had four hits and although they got a few runners to second base it just wasn’t enough.
After Charlie left Chris Resop came in and gave up a leadoff bomb to Stralin Castro. The only run scored in the game. It was a straight gut punch to everyone that even remotely wants to see the Pirates succeed in 2011. Castro has absolutely killed the Pirates this series with nine hits already in 13 at bats. No idea what we have to do to get this guy out.
Two of the Pirates hits came off of Pedro Alvarez’s bat which was really nice to see. He seems to be heating up and has six hits in his last 16 at bats even though he does have eight strikeouts in those at bats. If he can get into the flow it should bring some good mojo to the team, but not tonight.
Back to Resop. He was extremely angry after giving up the home run and deservedly so. He knows what kind of game that Chuck had and I am sure he feels the game is 100% on him. It isn’t. Anyone that puts any blame on Resop for this game is kidding themselves. You can’t win games with zero runs scored. The hate that guys like Resop and Jose Veras get is laughable and infuriating at the same time. The times that those two guys have had huge innings trump the bad innings by a million and yet some people can’t wait to get them out of here. The hate that these two guys get is just mind boggling, but whatever.
Games like this make people say ridiculous things and the overriding sediment from a lot of people is that this season is disappointing now. The last thing this season has been is disappointing unless you had expectations that were way more than everyone else had. Right now the Pirates are probably going to have a 20 game win improvement from last year. That stuff doesn’t happen too often and yet some people are treating this like a 100 win team from last season is now in this position. The Pirates have given us a hell of a ride so far and this season is far from over. Let this play out a little bit and try to enjoy what is going on. Get a grip.
If you are still cheering for the Pirates then we go back after it tomorrow. If you aren’t then good riddance.