PNC Park | 7:10 | Matt Morris vs. Mark Hendrickson | Box
After winning four straight, the Bucs have now dropped six straight. The Marlins collected 16 hits, eleven of which went for extra bases. Matt Morris was awful again. He gave up 8 runs in four innings.
Bizarre lineup today. Jose Bautista was rested (or benched). So, Chris Gomez played third. Batting second and playing short was Brian Bixler. Between Bixler, Adam LaRoche and the 9th spot, 1/3 of the line up is either slumping or perhaps unable to hit Big League pitching. The Bucs just don’t have many good options at third. Doug Mientkiewicz has played three games at third in his career. Neil Walker likely isn’t ready. So, we have a badly slumping Bautista or re-tread Gomez.
Good news: Nate McLouth extended his hitting streak. Xavier Nady continues to rap. Evan Meek tossed a pair of scoreless innings to lower his ERA to an even 10.00. John Grabow is still unscored upon in 2008.
I actually laughed out loud when I read the final line of this DJ Gallo piece.
Mark Hendrickson will be looking for his fourth straight win. He had just four wins in all of 2007.
One of Hendrickson’s three wins in 2008 came against the Buccos. In that post I cracked that Hendrickson was like Ron Villone. Maybe not. Villone is still around – chucking it this year for the Cards. If there is good news it is that Hendrickson gave up two hits to Nate McLouth and an XBH to Jason Bay in his first appearance against the Pirates in 2008. He has one career start in PNC. That came in 2005.
It has not been a good start for Matt Morris. His ERA rests above 7.00 at the moment. Given that Josh Fogg has already been demoted from the Reds rotation and that I compared those two in a previous post, I’m not sure what to say. Should Matty Mo be relegated to the pen?
In Morris’ first 2008 go-round with Florida, he received a no decision. For his career against the Fish, he is 7-5 with a 4.59 ERA. In 14 career starts at PNC, Morris 8-2 with a 3.41 ERA.
If you check out Morris’ 2008 data at Baseball Reference, it looks like he is either the victim of tiring early or opposing hitters getting the feel of him. Opponents BA goes way up the third time through the order and also when his pitch count goes above 50.
The Marlins are hitting a collective .308 vs. Morris. Josh Willingham is 6-10 with a homer. Wes Helms is 8-23 with a homer.