In the fourth inning, Charlie Morton struck out Matt Holliday and Ryan Ludwick and I thought that maybe tonight Morton would put it together and take a step forward. Almost immediately, he started giving up hits and running hitters deep into counts and doing all of the things that pitchers do that get them removed after five innings, even if they’ve only given up one run. If Morton had held on for another inning, maybe we don’t need to use Chris Bootcheck and maybe this game turns out differently. That’s not what happened, though, and we’re staring at seven losses in a row now.
I feel bad singling Bootcheck out here; before the game I was at in Durham last Saturday, he spent 20 minutes or so before the game talking to a young kid and his dad, showing how he gripped his pitches. He seemed like an all-around good guy.
There were at least a couple of good things, though. Morton’s curveball looked as good as I’ve seen it until he lost his handle on it in the fourth and fifth. That seems to be a pretty typical pattern for him; he gets it going early on and loses control of it later in the game. Ronny Cedeno also made a couple nice plays in the field and hit his second homer in black and gold, continuing his streak of looking like a surprisingly competent baseball player.
But yeah, seven losses in a row. Nothing’s going to look particularly good until this streak stops.