SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 8: Charlie Morton #50 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the fifth inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park August 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
It's finally over, as Charlie Morton pitched eight shutout innings to lead the Pirates to a much-needed 5-0 victory. Morton wasn't exactly dominant (he walked three and allowed six hits, and it seemed like their two men on pretty much the entire time he was pitching), but his stuff was sharp, and he had a number of really nice moments, including an excellent inside pitch to strike out lefty Aubrey Huff in the eighth. I was a little alarmed that Clint Hurdle let him pitch to Huff and Pablo Sandoval at all in that inning, since they were hitting lefty and Morton's pitch count was climbing (he left after 115 pitches). But Morton got through it in style. He hasn't allowed a run in two straight starts now.
The Pirates' offense wrangled three doubles and a triple (the triple was by Derrek Lee, whose travel time from home to third was longer than that of a puddle-jumper flight from Pittsburgh to Dulles), but the bulk of their offense came from singles that weren't hit especially hard. The strikeouts and walks continued to be eye-popping, as they have so often recently - they whiffed 13 times and walked twice. But hey, I'll take 12 hits any way I can get them, especially when they help end a 10-game losing streak.
Also, the gamethread was a lot of fun tonight, so props to everyone for that.