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Postgame: Charlie Morton adds to Pirates' gem collection in 2-0 win

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Morton adds to Pirates gem count

Charlie Morton was terrific tonight. He held the Brewers scoreless and allowed only three hits over 7.1 innings. He finished with three walks and six strikeouts. His 75 game score is another Bill James Gem for Pirates starters, who now lead the league with 22 gems and have thrown four in a row.

"Very effective, great body of work," Hurdle said of Morton's performance. "He had a sinker working. He was ahead of counts. The curveball played well. The arm-side sinker kept standing up the right-handers, they were swinging over it. Threw some changeups to left-handers, as well. Really, really strong outing."

Francisco Cervelli explained that Morton's sinker, as usual, set up his other pitches.

"The sinker, that's the key," Cervelli said. "Everybody's looking for that pitch and when he throws that big curveball it's hard to hit it."

Morton said he didn't have his best sinker, but it was good enough to get the Brewers to hit some ground balls and allow his defense to work behind him. He pointed to good command of the curveball as an important variable.

"I feel like I'm not yanking them like I used to," Morton said. "You can credit the delivery on that, I think. And I felt I could throw it in the zone."

River walking
In the second, Pedro Alvarez absolutely destroyed a first-pitch fastball over the right field stands and onto the upper river walk outside of the park.

28.6% of Alvarez's fly balls have resulted in home runs so far this season, which ranks in the top-10 league-wide and is on pace to be the highest of his career.

McCutchen's outstanding catch

Heading into the game, Andrew McCutchen ranked second-to-last in range amongst centerfielders this season. According to his Fangraphs RngR score, McCutchen has allowed 4.8 runs above what the average centerfielder would give up due to range. But you wouldn't know it by the outstanding catch he made in the third to rob Shane Peterson of extra bases.

Getting a quick break on the ball, the Pirates centerfielder sped on a perfect diagonal path and  intercepted the sinking line drive with a last second lunge just short of the warning track in left-center.

Afterwards, Hurdle said it was one of the better catches he's seen this season.

"On contact, he's off [and on] what looked to be a perfect route." Hurdle said. "I'm sure that new system [stat-cast] will let us know the speed, angle of the route, everything else. All I know, it was a really, really good baseball play by a really good centerfielder."

Don't look now

Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save. He has now converted 17 consecutive save opportunities, which is the longest streak of his career. It is also the 10th consecutive appearance in which he has netted a save.