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    Default Morton turning aggressive

    Morton turning aggressive
    Sunday, March 21, 2010
    By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton allowed three runs in five innings Saturday.

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Pirates are beginning to see the aggressive Charlie Morton/ they prefer.

    Morton had a second consecutive strong start in the Pirates' 5-2 loss Saturday to the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium, allowing three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in five innings. He struck out three, walked two and, most impressive, only two of those hits came with any authority, a Luke Scott solo home run and a Ty Wigginton double.

    That followed four shutout innings against the New York Yankees in his previous start, and it lowered his spring ERA to 3.95 after a highly erratic early going.

    "What I liked was seeing a lot of early strikes, seeing Charlie get ahead of guys," manager John Russell/ said of Morton. "That's a good step."

    Morton threw a sharp fastball and slider, and he spent much of his later innings working on a changeup that was not nearly as effective. Neither was his breaking ball, which he used more than the coaching staff wants in the first two innings.

    "I was happy with it," Morton said. "I went after them with offspeed stuff because I needed to mix in a changeup."

    Offensively, Ryan Church and Luke Carlin each went 2 for 3.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]McCutchen gets a shot[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    In what could be a sign that management is taking Daniel McCutchen seriously in dueling Kevin Hart for the fifth starter's job, McCutchen will make his first Grapefruit League start today against the Tampa Bay Rays after originally being scheduled for relief.

    Hart, struggling immensely, will pitch in a Class AAA game Monday at Pirate City. That is an off-day for the Pirates.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Buried treasure[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Zach Duke, the original starter for today, instead will pitch in a minor league game at Pirate City.

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Infielder Ramon Vazquez was scratched from the game Saturday because of a sore shoulder and collarbone, where he was struck by a bouncer Friday. He is day to day, Russell said.

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Reliever Javier Lopez left the team to be with his wife, Renee, for the birth of the couple's first child.

    [HIGH-LIGHT][/HIGH-LIGHT] Garrett Jones, the projected everyday right fielder, played first base for the first time this spring.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10080/1044565-63.stm
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    Default Re: Morton turning aggressive

    An aggressive Morton is a good Morton. With the nast stuff that he has, he should be able to get anyone out at any time. Imo, he is the key to making the Pirates rotation much better overall.
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