Charlie Morton had a stat line that has not been seen since 1913, but the Astros still found a way to win.
When you are a good team, you will win games that you really had no business winning. Unfortunately, you will also lose games that you should have won. Baseball can be heartless at times, but that’s why we love the game. Last night, the Astros showed why they are a good team and why the Rangers aren’t. Go back a few years, and the tables were turned.
The Astros scored two runs in the first inning behind an Alex Bregman double and Yuli Gurriel single. With Charlie Morton on the mound, you would think that was good enough. Morton was coming off his first loss of 2018. He was ready to pitch against the Rangers. Unfortunately, his control was not prepared.
After retiring Shin-Soo Choo, Morton walked Delino DeShields. He got Nomar Mazara to fly out. Jurickson Profar gets hit with a pitch, and Joey Gallo walks to load the bases with two outs. Morton was able to get out of the jam in the first, but it was a sign of things to come. For the first time in 2018, Morton didn’t have control of his pitches.
How wild was CFM?
According to the Tweet above, this is the first time since 1913 that a pitcher had the stats that Morton did. That was a complete game win by the Senators’ Tom Hughes. To show how wild Morton was, he did that in only 3 2/3 innings. You could see the frustration in the face of Brett Strom.
Morton hit four batters and walked six, but somehow limited the Rangers offense to only two runs (only one earned). Some days you wish you could have stayed in bed with your pillow wrapped around your head. That may show my age there, that was from an old Monkees song.
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To Morton’s credit, he never folded and let the game get out of control. AJ Hinch took Morton out after only 3 2/3 innings. Thankfully they had Brad Peacock to fill the gap. Morton only allowed the one hit, but he did not have his typical control. No need to worry about Morton; this is not the demise of his career. It was a bad start that wasn’t that bad on the surface.
What was bad was the Rangers offense, they were 1 for 17 with runners in scoring position. They left 17 runners on base, including multiple instances with the bases loaded. Their veteran hitter was not in the lineup, Adrian Beltre, but someone has to drive those runs in.
Morton was not one to struggle with his command last night. Astros pitchers hit five batters and walked ten hitters. Despite all the traffic on the bases, the Rangers only scored three runs. The Astros are now 9-4 versus the Rangers this year and have won five straight games.
As I mentioned on Twitter last night, the Rangers run differential is -69. Alyson Footer may not be allowed to call them a bad team, but that’s what they are. The Rangers now sit 14.5 games behind the Astros and Mariners. We could see some veterans get traded this season, but they want a winning team when they move into their new ballpark in 2020.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and MLB.com***