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Pregame: Morton ‘did the job’


MILWAUKEE — Charlie Morton reached a lot of milestones this year. He earned a career-high 10 victories. He amassed 110 strikeouts, the first time in his career the right-hander’s reached triple digits. He made 29 starts in the majors, also a career best. He led the team with nine sacrifice bunts and collected his first two RBI.

“I’ll look back on the year and see plenty of ups and downs, but I feel like I did my job, for the most part,” Morton said after taking a no-decision Monday against the Brewers. “That feels a lot better than it did last year.”

Last season, Morton went 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA. He spent much of the year at Triple-A Indianapolis, trying to rebuild his confidence. The hours he spent with Indy manager Dean Treanor and Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage have paid off.

“I know more about what I need to do and who I am on the mound,” Morton said. “Before, I put in a lot of work and spent a lot of time, but it wasn’t really going anywhere. Now, I feel like the work and time I invest will be put to good use. I’m going in a certain direction now, as opposed to going downhill or just floating around. I’m heading in the right direction.”

»»» Monday’s 9-8 win took four hours, 13 minutes to play. It was the Pirates’ longest nine-inning game since at least 1984.

»»» Tony Watson gave up a single to the only batter he faced last night and that guy ended up scoring. It snapped Watson’s streak of 10 scoreless innings.

»»» Catcher Michael McKenry will got to Instructional League for a week or so after the season for some one-on-one hitting instruction. That could be an indication that McKenry is ahead of Jason Jaramillo (who’ll be out of minor league options in 2012) and Matt Pagnozzi (who’ll be a free agent this winter) in management’s plans for next season.

Pirates @ Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET

Pirates (72-88) – 1. Alex Presley cf, 2. Josh Harrison 3b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Ryan Ludwick rf, 7. Matt Pagnozzi c, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. rhp Ross Ohlendorf (1-3, 8.29)

Brewers (94-66) — 1. Corey Hart rf, 2. Jerry Hairston cf, 3. Ryan Braun lf, 4. Prince Fielder 1b, 5. Rickie Weeks 2b, 6. Casey McGehee 3b, 7. Yuniesky Betancourt ss, 8. George Kottaras c, 9. Randy Wolf lhp (13-10, 3.61)



  1. James Thompson says:

    Probably, other Pirates pitchers would’ve done better if only they’d gotten more support or if only their arms hadn’t given out, or both.

  2. joel says:

    With this year under his belt, I look for Charlie Morton to have a much better season next year. I think the same could be said about Karsten , J-Mac, and Correia. That and a couple of young relievers who came on late in the season, the bullpen should be OK. That also means Hananran should get an extenstion and not traded. He is that good.

    The Pirates have to find one more stick and resign Lee.

  3. Ken Mihalik says:

    Morton did the job? In what way? In his last 14 starts, his regression was obvious. He pitched 80 innings and averaged 14.3 baserunners per 9 innings in that span. His only virtue is that he keeps the ball in the park. But check out his WHIP and opponents batting average against Morton since July 3. Horrible. He is not a reliable starter and would not be in the rotation of many teams.

  4. James Thompson says:

    The main reasons why I followed the Pirates this season are because I’ve been a Pittsburgh sports fan almost all my life since I’m from there, and members of my mother’s family followed them almost all their lives, and I still remember the good times during the 60s and 70s and again from 1990 to ’92. And then, the Bucs gave us all a glimpse this past season of what they could do if only they had the talent and the winning mentality they’d had 19 years ago. Otherwise, there would be no reason why I, or any other Pittsburgh sports fan would wish to watch the home team die every season without fail for almost the past two decades.

  5. samman says:

    ees my hopinion that Joramillo should be ahead o McKennery
    He seems to bee zat good heeter

  6. Ken Mihalik says:

    Morton had another bad year. His WHIP and opponents batting average, especially in his last 14 starts, underscored that he would not be in a starting rotation on most teams. Left-handed batters hit .364 against him. Are you going to delete this post, Rob? The previous one was eliminated. Why? Just curious and believe it warrants an answer.

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