Through two games this season, Astros starters have been outstanding. Dallas Keuchel opened the season with a performance for the ages, and Lance McCullers followed with a standout performance of his own.
Tonight, the Astros look to an unfamiliar face to keep momentum going.
Charlie Morton is a 33 year old righty from Flemington, New Jersey. He stands 6 feet, 5 inches tall, and broke into the majors in 2008 with the Braves. He spent the following seven seasons and the majority of his career starting for the Pirates. His best season came in 2013 when he posted a 7-4 record with a 3.26 ERA.
The knock on Morton has always been injuries. Morton underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012, and made only 4 starts last season before tearing his hamstring while running out a bunt. In his nine years as a Major Leaguer, Morton has started more than 20 games only four times.
So what should we expect from this guy? The truth is Morton can be dominant if he stays healthy. He throws a power sinker that reaches 96 mph, and mixes it with a curveball and splitter. He gets a lot of ground balls and induces soft contact. He’s by no means an ace, but a very capable middle of the rotation starter.
If the previous two games are any indication, Morton’s pitching style should bode well against this Mariner lineup. The Mariners have grounded out 24 times through the first 18 innings, and inducing ground balls is Charlie Morton’s specialty. If he can utilize his sinker and keep his pitches low, Morton is due for a big night.
Morton and the Astros look to remain undefeated and keep the ball rolling tonight against the Mariners. First pitch is at 7:10 CT on ROOT Sports.