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Charlie Morton Strikes Out Nine; Joel Hanrahan Racks Up 100th Strikeout

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The Pirates lost, but a couple of cool things happened tonight:

-P- Charlie Morton was really good, striking out nine batters, which gives him five straight starts since he's really been awful. He's dropped his ERA more than two-and-a-half runs in that time. We'll see if this carries over next season, or if it's just one of those things. New pitching coach Ray Searage has really looked like a genius recently, but those kinds of appearances often just turn out to be mirages. In any case, good for Morton. When the Pirates called him up after his stint in AAA, it wasn't a surprise or even necessarily a bad move, but I didn't think Morton really deserved it based on his numbers in Indianapolis - his low strikeout rate there didn't portend great things. But he's been downright serviceable in September.

-P- Joel Hanrahan struck out his 100th batter of the season. He needed less than 70 innings to do it, which is ridiculous. As I think someone pointed in the comments, he's third in the majors in strikeouts per nine innings, behind Carlos Marmol and Billy Wagner. He's quickly becoming one of the most valuable relievers in the game, and he won't be a free agent for three more years.