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Morrow's Second Start

I don't have, and won't even pretend to have, a scouting report on this game. I have no idea if Morrow threw 51 straight fastballs or busted out a knuckler. This is not a substitute for such a scouting report, but instead a complement to the one that I'm sure Jason Churchill will be able to provide later on. This is what it is, a review of the numbers of Morrow's second start in the hope to avoid premature over-reaction to perceived struggles.

2.2IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, 2SO.

That's what most people are going to see and just pass that off as a mediocre start. If we've hammered anything this past 6 months or so (besides the importance of defense) is that traditional means of measuring pitching suck. First of all, this start was in Tuscon which is a hitter friendly park in a hitter friendly league. Parks matter!

Next, just reviewing the walks in Gameday shows that the walks weren't that wild. For one, both came on 3-2 counts and both had at least two balls that while they weren't necessarily in the strike zone, were pretty close. In fact, Morrow threw 51 pitches, 35 of them strikes, a 69% ratio which is very good and portends a good projected walk rate.

To the strikeouts. Both were of the swinging variety which is the better kind and all in all, Morrow missed seven bats in 51 pitches, a touch under 14% which is a very healthy number and indicates a strong strikeout rate going forward.

Finally, the batted balls. Three were classified as line drives, two as groundballs and three as fly balls with a bunt and a pop up thrown in as well. Not horrible, not great, but none left the park and that's important. You'd like to see more balls on the ground and less hit on a line but remember, parks matter.

All in all, while I wouldn't classify this as a good step forward; from a statistical perspective this is by no means a step backward.