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Insider Only Post-Game: Morton’s inability to “mix things up” catches up to him in 8-2 loss

Houston 8 – Pittsburgh 2

W: Bud Norris (5-6)
L: Charlie Morton (7-5)

Post-Game Wrapup

Morton relies heavily on one pitch in loss
Charlie Morton (8H – 5R – 6SO – 1BB) limited the Houston Astros to three hits and no runs through the first five innings but his inability to “mix things up” caught up to him in the sixth, as seven of the eight batters Morton faced in the inning reached base, en route to a five run inning for the Astros.
“It kind of got out of hand,” Morton said of his struggles in the sixth “It kind of crept up on me, and all of a sudden it just kind of fell apart.”
Where Morton got himself in trouble was relying heavily on his curveball as his “go-to-pitch”
“I’ve had trouble against lefties and when it started working, I {started} using it against righties too, ” Morton said in his post-game comments.
Morton (7-5, 3.80 ERA) was tagged for 8 hits and 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. He fell to 2-4 at home on the season and has not won at home since June 4th.
Bad defense fuels 5-run sixth for Astros
The Houston Astros got to Charlie Morton in the sixth but what fueled the inning was bad defensive play by the Pirates. Things started unraveling when Chase d’Arnaud made a throwing error to first on a play Lyle Overbay could have made and Andrew McCutchen made two gaffes in the outfield, getting charged with one error.
Pence continues dominance against Pirates
Hunter Pence went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI’s, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. Pence continued his dominance against the Pirates tonight and is hitting .466 with 4 home runs and 19 RBI’s in his last 23 games against Pittsburgh.

Pirates Offensive Notes
Andrew McCutchen (1-4, 2 RBI’s {48}) drove in both Pirates runs. McCutchen has reached safely in 19 straight home games.
Michael McKenry went 2 for 3 at the plate.
Alex Presley, Chase d’Arnaud, Lyle Overbay, Neil Walker each had a hit.
Brandon Wood went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.
The Pirates were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Hurdle: Pirates outplayed
Manager Clint Hurdle’s summary of the Pirates loss: “They outplayed us, across ed the board, ” Hurdle said. An atmosphere Hurdle has been great at establishing is the Pirates moving on from a loss or a win on a daily basis.
“We lose a game, we wash it off. We win a game, we wash it off, centerfielder Andrew McCutchen said.
Walker extends hitting streak to 13 games against Astros
Neil Walker went 1-for-4 at the plate and extended his hitting streak to 13 games against the Houston Astros.
Pirates fall to third place in NL Central
With tonight’s loss, the Pirates (45-42) fall to third place in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers moving into second place, at 46-42.
The first place St. Louis Cardinals (47-40) were tied at 8-8 in the bottom of the 11th with the Cincinnati Reds (43-44) at the time of this post.
Tidbits
The Pirates are 7-2 on the season against the Houston Astros and 18-11 against the NL Central….
Pittsburgh fell to 21-21 at home….
The Pirates next nine games are against teams currently under .500 and all division opponents.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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