Charlie Morton and Mr. Hyde

I am by no means attempting to kick off a debate about cERA, but I think it’s very interesting that Jason Jaramillo is catching Charlie Morton for the second straight non-day game start. During Morton’s last terrible start, against the Phillies, I was watching the game with the Phillies broadcast on ( gives you the option to choose between home and away and I usually alternate between the two to avoid listening to a certain homertastic Pirate play-by-play guy who’s like nails on a chalkboard to me at this point) and whoever was calling the game for the Phils that night noted that they’d been told that Charlie Morton makes more pickoff attempts than most other pitchers.

This makes sense. Morton is right-handed and not terribly quick to the plate (at least not to my eye; I haven’t timed him or anything) and his catcher in every single start to that point in the season had been Ryan Doumit, who is beyond abysmal at throwing runners out at the plate because he has the slooooooowest release of any catcher I’ve ever seen including our Kennedy Catholic High catcher who failed to throw out one base runner at any point in our miserable, winless 2002 season and who missed the end of the season with some injury that’s been lost to the depths of my memories which necessitated my own donning of the tools of ignorance for the first time in about five years and in my first start, throwing out a would-be base-stealer and actually drawing a standing ovation from our fans (well, our parents and a couple guys’ girlfriends) who hadn’t failed to notice that every walk and single had been a double all season. So if I were Morton, I’d be throwing over to first base a hell of a lot, too.

But then I thought a little more. Isn’t Morton’s biggest problem this year pitching with runners on base? Yes, it is. And wouldn’t a lack of focus on the batter, or more accurately an inordinate amount of focus placed on baserunners, contribute to struggles like potentially tipping pitches? Obviously I can’t say for sure, but it definitely could. And now, Jaramillo’s catching his second straight Morton start and neither one has been on what would be considered a “typical” day to play the backup catcher, which would be a day game after a night game (though having 20 games in a row muddles that up a bit and today is sort of a logical break since it’s a get-away day, even if it’s not a daygame). In any case, this isn’t exactly something to be drawing any conclusions from, but I do think that it’s worth noting at paying attention to who catches Morton’s starts in the next couple weeks.

Morton’s mound opponent tonight is Johnny Cueto, who obliterated the Pirates in his last start against them. First pitch is 7:10. Clemente/Cangelosi is after the jump.

Not sure what this is? Check here and here. Short version: in the comments pick the Pirates you think will be most and least valuable in today’s game. If you haven’t jumped aboard yet, it’s been a lot of fun so far and now’s as good a time as any to join in.

Last night’s game was not good for the Pirates, nor was it any good for movement in the C/C standings. With Ronny Cedeno and Aki Iwamura taking home the Clemente honors and Garrett Jones and Ryan Doumit taking home Cangelosis (based on reader input, I’m just ignoring pitchers at the plate altogether now), there were only two people that recorded a negative point and no one with positive points.

Today’s mostly unaltered standings:

  1. Don_Madden: 25
  2. Woodward, dafletch: 18
  3. brian2: 16
  4. hisjazziness, North Shore Ryan: 15
  5. Wizard of Woz: 14
  6. hwtrine68, ndbrian, pdiddy0020: 13
  7. Carnegie Chip, whygavs,Garrett122: 11
  8. UtesFan890, bwzimmerman: 8
  9. apk, pdiddy002, J.Latrobe: 7
  10. Nate, TuckerD13, dboz, Mornacale, michaelbro8, edgeman2k: 6
  11. TheHulk: 5
  12. appeal2smail: 4
  13. TomKaikis, Joek, tylerrcurtis, TheJewelryMan!, fruitbat, Cecilio_Guante, WallyR: 3
  14. PatrickHealy, MattB, SteelCity66, BadAndy, spazaru, Adam_Reynolds, Mr. Ando, DoctorGeeves, WallyR: 2
  15. FSU Bucs, Christy, appeal2smail, SeanGentile, shsteimer, TheHulk, Traco Bucco, Tate, Neopold, IndianaJohns04, wk kortas, jac8, Mr. Ando: 1
  16. Everyone else: 0
  17. NSN, Mosca, danatural, Teflon, John Sparrow, matt w, Fielding Yost: -1
  18. PHook4000: -5


Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.