Charlie Morton will look to build on his strong first start Saturday night against the Colorado Rockies at 7:05 PM at PNC Park.
Morton walked five batters in his 2011 debut against the Cardinals, but he racked up one ground ball out after another thanks to a new approach that included lots of pitches thrown inside and a repertoire that weighted heavily toward fastballs and sinkers. Overall, he posted a quality start, with one run and three hits allowed in six innings. After a 2010 season in which he posted a 7.57 ERA, his 2011 debut was a breath of fresh air for Pirates fans. A deep run tonight would be a boon to the Pirates, who used all their available relievers last night in their 14-inning marathon.
The Rockies' starter will be Greg Reynolds, who is starting because Ubaldo Jimenez recently went to the disabled list. Reynolds was the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, but his climb through the minors was slowed by injuries and ineffectiveness. His game revolves around keeping runners off the bases by limiting walks, but he's very hittable, and the Pirates have a decent chance of getting to him.