You can use the gamethread below to talk about the second game of the DH, but I want Charlie Morton’s shutout to get its own post here. I was honestly braced for the worst this afternoon with Morton’s return to Wrigley. We all remember how his last start there went (if you don’t: 1+ innings, 10 runs) and sometimes it’s just not easy to face down a team that’s whomped you, especially back at their field. Morton did more than bounce back, though. He tossed a complete game four-hitter, replete with eight strikeouts and only three walks.
Needless to say, I’ll be using this game as a template for Morton when I do his PitchFX breakdown after the season, but I think even a quick glance at today’s start is pretty instructive. His fastball was probably as slow as it’s been all year (90.8 mph), but he got his fastball and sinker over the plate 46 of 63 times. It also may have had a little more life than usual. He also changed speeds well (his change up came in around 81, his curve came in at an average of 77) and got some swings and misses with his curveball, which he hasn’t been doing lately.
I’ll know more for sure when I finally break everything down, but I think the fastball command is probably the biggest thing for him. His change and curve weren’t particularly accurate, but being able to spot his fastball meant they didn’t need to be. Regardless of the reason, this is the game we’ve been waiting for from Morton. He’s got the tools and if he can put it together a little more regularly, I think he could be next year’s Ross Ohlendorf.