Game 23: Morton Undone by Homers & Errors

If he could have a couple of pitches and a couple of boots back, the night would’ve been different for Charlie Morton. You can’t, as they say, unring a bell. And you can’t pull those dingers back out of the bleachers. The result: the Buccos modest three game winning streak is over.

Morton was staked to an early 1-0 (doubles in the opening frame from Aki Iwamur and Andrew McCutchen off Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley) lead. But quicker than you can say ‘palm tree’, he fell behind in the early LA evening. Rookie Xavier Paul singled and one out later Andre Ethier homered to make it 2-1.

Bucco defense was costly two innings later. Errors by both Jeff Clement (on an apparent smash) and Bobby Crosby allowed the Dodgers to score three unearned runs after James Loney hit a two out, three run dinger.

Billingsley went six and allowed two earned runs (Ryan Doumit doubled in Ryan Church in the fourth). Morton allowed only six hits and three earned runs in six innings. The Pirates managed just one base runner over the final three innings off the LA bullpen.

The Good
Morton wasn’t bad. He whiffed 8 and gave up six hits in six innings. Take away the third inning dinger and the club is in good shape.

Both McCutchen and Doumit had a pair of hits.

The Bad
Errors that cost runs.

The Rest
Morton tied a career best with 8 whiffs. He accomplishe the feat only one other time – 9-30-09 versus the Cubbies. That’s also the most whiffs by any Pirate starter in a single game this year.

Doumit was hitting .433 over his previous 9 games. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

After a search on, I was unable to turn up any other Pirate starter who went 0-5 in April in any season going back to the 1920s. Charlie Morton did it this year. Not the kind of record he wants to be setting.

One record the Pirates managed to avoid setting was most consecutive losses in the month of April. The 1952 Rickey Dinks club dropped 10 straight from 4-19-52 to 4-29-52.

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