Charlie Morton delivered seven innings of 3-hit ball tonight against the Giants, striking out six and walking two. The Giants did some of that to themselves, waving at some bad pitches, and Morton's fastball probably wasn't quite as crisp as it sometimes is, especially in the early innings. But you can't argue with the results. He also got a bunch of ground balls. The outing lowered Morton's ERA with the Bucs to 3.21, with 20 strikeouts, nine walks, and just one homer allowed in his first 28 innings. You can complain about the Nate McLouth deal if you like, but he and Morton have probably had about the same amount of value since the trade, and that's before considering that the Bucs get to keep Morton longer, or the fact that the Pirates also got two other prospects in the deal. It's extremely early, but Morton is making that trade a lot easier to swallow.
Offensively, the Pirates' only extra-base hit went to--guess who?--Garrett Jones, whose double in the first set up Ryan Doumit's sacrifice fly. Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4, and Andy LaRoche had a clutch RBI single in the seventh.
A quick note:
Rob Biertempfel writes that Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson have said no to the Pirates' offers of extensions. That was quick, although not really a surprise, if the report that the Pirates offered Sanchez a two-year deal in the neighborhood of $10 million is true. Sanchez already has an $8 million option for 2010 that's pretty likely to automatically vest as he accumulates plate appearances.
Thanks to UtesFan89.