Lets just get this out of the way right now, Charlie Morton is clearly the Pirates number three starter and might be the Pirates best starter throughout the month of August. He was nothing short of outstanding again tonight. He went 6.2 innings and gave up only one run on five hits. He did walk three which isn't something you want him to do but he was in control for pretty much the entire game. He had 11 groundouts and was actually giving up a big of fly outs with six but it was the same old Ground Chuck that we are used to. A few weeks ago I opening wondered with a few guys on the Pirates Video Roundtable of who would be the Pirates number three pitcher if they need it in the playoffs and right now I think it is pretty easy to see who that is.
The Pirates offense kept rolling. Along with the seven runs they scored they had 13 hits and went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position to continue hitting extremely well since the All-Star break.
Clint Hurdle decided to go with Josh Harrison in the leadoff spot tonight and despite my pessimism about this setup the Pirates got three hits out of the leadoff spot. I am glad that Mr. Harrison proved me wrong but generally speaking I don't think this is an optimal leadoff guy but who cares, they got the production today.
Andrew McCutchen with two more hits to raise his slash line to .323/.400/.508 and I can't remember the last time that when he put the bat on the ball where it wasn't an absolute laser to someone. He is just on some kind of roll where he is a very difficult guy to get out.
Gaby Sanchez faced a left handed pitcher and what happened during the game was what you should have expected, he killed the ball. He ended the night going 3-of-4 at the dish and that will make his slash line of .306/.429/.529 coming into the game. A lot of people rip Sanchez for his subpar numbers but the reality is that he gets on base and crushes lefties. Tonight he did that again.
Oh yea, Marlon Byrd made his debut for the Pirates today and looked really good at the plate. He was inserted into the cleanup spot and in his first at bat he nearly killed Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny with a line drive back up the middle that Gorzelanny caught and then in his second at bat he went 14 pitches deep with Gorzelanny before striking out. He did strike out in three pitches his third at bat before going deep into the bushes (make your own puns) to put the game away in the seventh inning when the game was still somewhat in doubt with the Pirates up 4-1. All-in-all the 1-for-4 night isn't going to jump off the page at you but you had to like what he did today and when Starling Marte this lineup is going to be pretty good.
Pedro Alvarez was the only starting position player to not record a hit and he actually got robbed of one early in the game.
A good night for the offense and another good night for Morton. This is awesome because the Pirates are good.