It doesn’t get a whole lot more exciting than last night’s ending. Talk about production off the bench! Last time the Bucs faced the Marlins I thought they lost the series in the Henderson Alvarez game. This time Alvarez pitched well and he deserves a lot of credit but the Pirates won, putting them in the driver’s seat to win the series.
It’s extremely important that the Pirates pile up some wins and gain distance between themselves and the Cardinals now.
Morton was not good against the Marlins. Not good at all. In fact in his last two games he has given up 19 hits in 11 innings.
It didn’t matter though, the Pirates won the game.
Morton has to be fighting for his life in the rotation. Especially if Wandy Rodriguez comes back. He is the clear weak link to this point and it’s not the time to experiment. While he’s the only option now, I don’t know that he will always be the only option. Brandon Cumpton had a strong start against the Cardinals and like I said, Wandy still exists.
I’m a believer in Ground Chuck, but this is a playoff push and if you have to move someone with potential to another spot than so be it.
There was some reason to be positive about his performance against lefties a few weeks back. That’s all gone. He’s falling right back into his massive struggles against lefties.
In addition Morton has been a disaster the more he sees hitters.
Pitch counts are also killing Morton. And by pitch counts I mean he falls off a cliff after 50 pitches.
I don’t mean for it to sound like I’m crapping all over Morton, but there are massive red flags.
If he can’t go deep into games maybe the bullpen is the right place for him.
His career numbers don’t exactly show much promise.
The reason Morton’s poor performance didn’t much matter is because the Buccos beat up today’s starter Tom Koehler. After throwing 100+ pitches just once prior he has now done so in two straight games.
I was a bit impressed with Koehler’s arsenal last time out after I pretty much buried him in my preview as a fringey AAAA pitcher.
I’m still not sure he’s more than that but hey, he has all the time in the world to develop in this young rotation.
This is a huge game for the Pirates this series. Win this and you have the series. Lose this and you have a pretty monumental task tomorrow against Jose Fernandez.
First Pitch: 7:05 PM EST
Where To Watch: Root Sports, MLB.TV, FS-F