Charlie Morton started tonight for the first time since August 15 and helped to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a three game series. Morton threw five innings, giving up four hits, walking two batters and striking out six. He threw 92 pitches, 65 for strikes and his sinker sat in the high 80s to low 90s. This was a classic Charlie Morton start, as he induced six ground ball outs, and got out of a four inning jam with a key double play.
“I thought his stuff was consistent tonight,” Hurdle said after the game. “I thought his sinker played well, a lot of first pitch strikes, which is imperative to throw against this club. The curveball played well, the change-up played well at times.”
Morton said that he “felt the same” health-wise pitching tonight as he has since the sports hernia occurred in early June. With his performance tonight, he was asked if he was disappointed that he went on the DL last month, instead of pitching through the injury. Morton says he took advantage of rest and treatments that he hopes will help push him through the end of the season and into the playoffs.
“The element of rest, treatments, not pitching in high intensity situations, you have to take that into account. Because when you’re pitching in the Big Leagues you stay on a routine. When you start, you aggravate [the injury] pitching. Day one you’re in the weight room getting your work done, Day two you’re on the mound again and Day three you’re in the weight room again. So really you need a couple of days to recoup and there really wasn’t that work load in the past month,” Morton explained.
Going forward, Morton says he will go day-by-day. Hurdle said that Morton tested well with the trainers after the start, and they will know more about his availability going forward within the next couple of days.