Charlie Morton: the first month was “unbelievably bad”
On Pirates Pre-game on Thursday, Rob King chatted with Starter Charlie Morton –who in his last three starts has been pitching pretty well–
Sept. 11th: 6.1 innings, six hits, three earned runs, one walk, two strikeouts -N/D
Sept 16th: 5.0 innings, five hits two earned runs, four walks, one strikeout -N/D
Sept 22nd: 6.0 innings, four hits, two earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts -W
Rob King: Charlie, your performance last night [was] as good as we’ve seen you. How did it feel last night?
Charlie Morton: It felt good. Results wise I was happy with it. I feel like I went out there and executed my pitches and got some outs.
RK: This has been a tale of two seasons for you. You’ve been able to rally here towards the end of the season. What was the process like at the beginning of the season?
CM: The first month I think was just unbelievably bad. It was a struggle everyday. Coming to the field, everything was uphill. It just seemed like everything I was doing wasn’t the right thing to do.
RK: Have you been doing anything differently? Has your approach been different?
CM: I think the biggest thing was a mechanical adjustment that we made. I started trying to stay closed a little bit longer. I’m throwing my sinker now. I think that has helped me get more ground balls. Be aggressive with my fastball in the zone in fastball counts –which is big. I still have had trouble in two strike counts, especially 0-2 [counts] putting guys away. I’ve left a few pitches up and got hit and you can’t let that happen. I’ve had the success with the same stuff I’ve had. I think it’s just how I throw it and the mentality I have with being aggressive and going after hitters. I can’t put it on one thing but with the stuff and ability I have, I can get outs.
How did Charlie Morton pitch to Albert Pujols during Wednesday’s game? –Who by the way, he struck out
“With a hitter like that, you either back off a bit and you avoid pitching to him,” Morton said. “In his first at-bat I was trying really hard to stay down and away, be accurate and not miss. His second at-bat, even with a guy on second, I was trying to be aggressive. I think when I’m aggressive I go after whoever’s in the box. And I’ll be okay as long as I’m going after him with confidence and conviction. “
Morton has a few more starts this season with the Pirates but has decided to get some more work in during the off-season by going down to the Dominican Republic. A long season for Charlie, but is he eager to continue to build upon what he’s been able to do?
“In a lot of ways I’m ready for a break, mentally,” Morton. “At the same time I want to keep going. I feel like this season has been so much of a challenge and so difficult. To just go home with a few good starts at the end would be nice but I want to finish my season. I want to go down there and get some innings and go into next season with some more starts that I would have gotten.”