After last night’s fun win, it seems like a fair goal to hope that the Pirates can get two out of three of the rest of their Easter weekend series against Brewers to help put last week’s sweep way back in our memories. If Morton’s surprising success last year was built on the increased velocity that his repaired elbow gave him, then it’s no wonder that he’s been pretty uneven thus far in 2014. His fastball averaged almost 93 mph last year, and this year it’s down to below 92. That’s where he was in 2011, when he first changed his mechanics. He’s certainly not throwing his changeup any more this year, which was something I think that we all expected to see coming out of spring training; if anything, he’s throwing the changeup and the fastball/sinker less and his curveball more. Of course all of this implies that Morton’s been bad this year, and he really hasn’t been. To this point, his strikeouts and walks are exactly where they were last year and even though his groundball rate is higher, he’s only really had homer trouble in one start.
He goes against Kyle Lohse, who I would’ve told you a week ago that the Pirates traditionally hit well. That was before he completely dominated them on Sunday. We’ll see if things look any different at PNC Park tonight. First pitch is at 7:05.