Charlie Morton and the Duct Tape Pirates

believeincharlie2Quick injury note before this one: Evan Meek is going back on the DL with his shoulder injury and Tim Wood is being brought up from Triple-A to take his spot in the bullpen. Meek hasn’t looked like himself since coming off of the DL and Wood has been lights out with Indianapolis this year, striking out nearly a batter an inning with good control and not many hits allowed. He also hits the upper-90s with his fastball, so he’s worth a shot. I’m a bit concerned about Meek at this point; Kristy Robinson just tweeted that he’s going to see James Andrews and that while he’s not in pain, there’s just nothing happening when he tries to throw the ball hard. Shoulder injuries are scary and when they linger like this, they’re even more troubling. Hopefully Meek is OK. For the Pirates, that means that more than half of their seven-man bullpen (Wood, Watson, Moskos, McCutchen) started the year in Triple-A. To make room for Wood on the 40-man, Chris Snyder is going to the 60-day DL. 

Onto the game: I checked some of the numbers and it appears that Charlie Morton is countering the lefty-heavy lineups that he’s seen of late by cutting back some on his sinker and throwing his curveball more to lefties. The results from his last three starts, all of which featured at least six lefties (I think), have been hard to read. His 2.25 ERA is great and his 13:5 K:BB ratio over 20 innings isn’t terrible, but opponents are batting .304 (with an unreasonably high .358 BABIP) against him on a huge slew of singles. He doesn’t seem to be fooling lefties that much, but they’re not hitting the ball hard, either. The Mets have a bunch of lefties they can use against Morton and I’d bet they’ll do so tonight. 

The Bucs, meanwhile, are sending out Matt Diaz and Josh Harrison and Ronny Cedeno and Dusty Brown to try and get some runs against Dillon Gee. Like Josh Collmenter last night, Gee has been much better than his peripherals suggest this year. Like Collmenter, I suspect he’ll get away with being not all that sharp against the Pirate lineup. Though if the Pirates do manage to see 162 more pitches tonight, smart money is on them not being shut out again. 

First pitch tonight is at 7:05.  

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.

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