Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather Forces Morton to Watch

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Weather Forces Morton to Watch

Article excerpt

Starter Charlie Morton pitched two innings Sunday before a long rain delay cut his outing short.

Morton -- in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery -- allowed two hits and one unearned run in the second inning, then never saw the mound again when the skies opened up shortly after 2 p.m.

He threw 22 pitches, 17 of them strikes, before his bullpen came in to pitch 12 innings of scoreless relief.

"It's unbelievable, that's how good they are," Morton said. "We know that, we've known that. It's just unbelievable. It's awesome to watch. You don't like to see that workload, but they basically pitched a ballgame and some, by themselves."

The stoppage lasted 2 hours, 20 minutes, and Vin Mazzaro took the mound after the delay for five innings of scoreless relief followed by one inning apiece from Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon, and the final three by Tony Watson.

Morton said he felt good before the delay.

"I felt fine," Morton said. "We had that delay and you never want that to happen."

He said he's not sure what the abbreviated start does to his turn in the rotation, but he knew fairly early in the delay that he would be done for the day.

"Normally around 45 minutes, you start to wonder," Morton said. "If they're pulling the tarp at 45 minutes or getting the field ready. It's all speculative when you're around 30 minutes, 45."

"You've got to recognize how our guys are pitching. Tough break with Morton having to leave early with the rain delay. Would've been fun to watch him go a little further, but our bullpen picked up the rest of the way and gave us a chance to win," said catcher Russell Martin, who drove in the winning run in the 14th.

BARMES GETS A START

Clint Barmes joined the lineup at shortstop, giving Jordy Mercer a day off. Barmes went 1 for 3 with a double.

Manager Clint Hurdle said before the game he doesn't believe in "freezing" any player on the bench in order to keep everyone game- ready should they be needed. …

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