You can pretty much take the blog post I wrote two and a half weeks ago and re-read it. Brandon Morrow was great back on May 3rd in Anaheim, throwing a three-hit shutout and striking out eight, and he was great Saturday afternoon against the Mets, throwing a three-hit shutout and striking out eight.
The difference between the two games? Morrow issued one more walk this time than he did that time – for a grand total of one – and he threw five more pitches.
The righty was dominant from start to finish, retiring 20 of the first 21 batters he faced and facing just three batters over the minimum.
In five of his last six starts (not counting the last one against the Rays in which he hit a wall in the fifth inning and got lit up), Morrow has allowed a grand total of two earned runs on 25 hits, walking six and striking out 38 over 36 2/3 innings. That would be an ERA of 0.49, a WHIP of 0.845 and a K/9 rate of 9.33 Those numbers are phenomenal, and hopefully show that Morrow has taken a huge stride towards becoming the legitimate ace so many expected him to become – he was taken 5th overall in 2006, after all.
Morrow did catch a rather huge break in the top of the 9th, though. With one out and a runner on first, Mets’ DH Mike Baxter ripped a line drive down the right-field line. Jose Bautista played it off the low retaining wall, spun and fired a blind strike to Yunel Escobar, who swiped at thin air as Baxter slid past him into second base……and was called out. Escobar completely missed Baxter, but second-base umpire Brian Knight was in no position to see that, and so he went up with his fist since the ball beat the runner. It was a terrible call, and just enhances the reasons to have robot umpires – or instant replay at the very least. Instead of the Mets having runners at second and third and one out – the tying run in scoring position – and their third and fourth hitters coming up, they had a man on third and two out.
Just an awful call, though it has been a while since one that bad favoured the Blue Jays. Still, these guys work awfully hard out there and with the technology available since, you know, the 1980s or so, there’s no need to subject them to the vagaries of human judgement.
The Blue Jays’ only scoring came in the bottom of the fifth inning and Jeff Mathis started the rally by stroking a single to left with two out and nobody on. Kelly Johnson followed by ripping an RBI double into the gap in right-centre, moving to third when the ball scooted under the glove of Mets’ centrefielder Andres Torres. Johnson scored as Yunel Escobar smacked the next pitch into right field for a single.
That was it – those were half the hits the Blue Jays managed for the afternoon – but it was one more run than Morrow would need in his dominant performance.
Here’s this afternoon’s super-extendo version of The BlueJaysTalk, for your listening pleasure – thanks to all the long weekend cottagers for calling up:
The series and the homestand wrap up Sunday afternoon, and it’s Henderson Alvarez tasked with securing the sweep and the Blue Jays’ fifth straight win, which would be a season high. His mound opponent will be righty Dillon Gee, who has been kind of unlucky to post a 5.65 ERA so far this season. His opponents’ batting average on balls in play is an unusually high .351, and he’s walked only nine in 43 innings of work. Gee has had a little trouble keeping the ball in the park, though, allowing six home runs, and the Blue Jays have hit 11 homers in their last four games including this last one, in which they didn’t hit any. We’ll be on the air at 12:30PM Eastern with the pre-game show for a 1:07 first pitch – join us, won’t you?
Please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me @wilnerness590. Brandon Morrow can be found @2Morrow23.
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