Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Starter Report: RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Mike Leake


Pittsburgh Pirates (48-45) vs. Cincinnati Reds (50-43)

 
RHP Charlie Morton (5-9, 3.10 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .229 OAV) vs. RHP Mike Leake (7-7, 3.42 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .260 OAV)

 
Saturday, July 12, 2014: 7:15 p.m. at Great American Ball Park

 

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

 

Morton has never quite put together an excellent big league season. Due to nagging shoulder injuries, he has had to adapt into a Roy Halladay clone.

 
It seems more recent, but three years ago, Morton carved up the Redlegs. He would make four starts against Cincinnati, allowing just three earned runs over 29 innings pitched. The Pirates would go on to win each time he started.

 
Recently, Morton has come back to reality. He picked up the loss on April 23 when Cincinnati strolled into the Iron City, walking five batters and allowing four runs. For his career, Morton still remains a below .500 pitcher against the Redlegs.

 
The lineup he will be facing, via the team’s Twitter account: (in parentheses are career statistics against)

 
Billy Hamilton – CF (1-for-3, 1 RBI)
Ramon Santiago – 2B (0-for-1, 2 walks)
Todd Frazier – 3B (5-for-12, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
Jay Bruce – RF (8-for-24, 3 2B’s, 2 HR, 6 RBI)
Devin Mesoraco – C (1-for-5)
Ryan Ludwick – LF (3-for-11, 2 walks)
Brayan Pena – 1B (0-for-2)
Zack Cozart – SS (1-for-13)
Mike Leake – P

 

After starting the season on a torrid pace, Leake has cooled a bit as of late. Still putting together one of his finer seasons in professional baseball, Leake was solid enough the last time he was on the hill to move his record back to .500.

 
Getting the decision is not unfamiliar territory to Leake, who has been either the winner or the loser in every single start since May 25.

 
He has not faced Pittsburgh since he faced them twice in a row on April 15 and 21. Neither was a stellar performance, but he did pick up the win in the first game while striking out eight batters. Nearly three months later, the Pirates lineup has made some significant changes.

 
The lineup he will be facing, via the team’s Twitter account: (in parentheses are career statistics against)

 
Gregory Polanco – RF (yet to face Leake)
Travis Snider – LF (1-for-10, 1 RBI)
Andrew McCutchen – CF (12-for-45, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 10 K’s)
Neil Walker – 2B (11-for-33, 4 2B’s, 1 HR, 11 RBI)
Russell Martin – C (9-for-26, 1 HR, 4 RBI)
Pedro Alvarez – 3B (9-for-34, 8 K’s)
Gaby Sanchez – 1B (3-for-8, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
Jordy Mercer – SS (1-for-6, 1 RBI)
Charlie Morton – P

 
Looking to win the series and extend the distance between themselves and the Pirates, the game will get underway at 7:15 p.m. on the Fox national network.

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