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Charlie Morton Posts First Good Start of Season

I'm just now watching the first several innings of last night's game, and wow--Charlie Morton looks great. He's throwing tons of strikes, and they're mostly good, tough strikes, and not cookies. He's throwing a good balance of fastballs and curves instead of fixating on one of the other. And he's getting ahead of batter after batter. One good start doesn't erase all the damage he did in his first several starts this season, and it doesn't guarantee anything going forward, but last night was still enormously encouraging. Coupled with a great rehab start for Ross Ohlendorf for Altoona, Morton's improvement tonight could suggest that the Pirates are going to be a bunch more competitive over the next couple months. (And let's not kid ourselves--despite the Bucs' vaguely acceptable won-loss record, their run differential shows they haven't been particularly competitive.)

Also in the minors, Bryan Morris dominated Palm Beach yesterday; how long before the rest of the Florida State League teams get Neal Huntington in on a conference call and cry uncle? (UPDATE: I can't believe I spelled Huntington's name wrong, given that I type it every day. Sorry about that.) Morris is just destroying them right now, with 32 strikeouts against four walks and a 0.78 ERA (although he does have five unearned runs). He has also struck out six batters or more while walking one or zero batters in each of his last three starts. Teaming him with Diego Moreno over nine innings is just unfair. 

This was a good day.