In Latest Loss, Charlie Morton Sees Improvement
Biertempfel, Rob, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Charlie Morton threw more fastballs yesterday afternoon than he did in his previous start. He fired plenty of first-pitch strikes, too.
That's proof, Morton said, he's a different pitcher than he was at the start of the season.
Yet the results were the same. Morton failed to make it out of the fourth inning, as the Washington Nationals ripped the Pirates, 8- 1, at PNC Park.
"It was a lot different today, although I'd like to see better results," Morton said. "I did a better job of pitching. My tempo was better. Location was better. It was a lot different than it was the last time."
Morton (1-11) worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs and eight hits. The right-hander walked two and struck out one to lower his ERA to 9.66.
"For the most part, I thought he was better," manager John Russell said. "Still not where we'd like to get him, but it's a step in the right direction."
On Aug. 29, Morton made his first start back with the Pirates after spending three months in the minors. He gave up eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings of a loss at Milwaukee. Against the Brewers, Morton often shook off catcher Ryan Doumit and later admitted being too timid with his fastball.
Yesterday, working with catcher Chris Snyder, Morton threw 58 fastballs out of 76 pitches. He also worked ahead in the count often, throwing first-pitch strikes to 12 of the 21 batters he faced.
"My goal was to get ahead early," Morton said. …