I may be stubborn, but I'm also not an idiot and so at this point I think it's safe to say that it's time for Charlie Morton to get the hell away from Major League hitters for a while and figure out what he's doing wrong somewhere that the fallout from his blast radius stops giving people in stands radiation poisoning. I'm probably one of Morton's bigger defenders anywhere, but after he walked Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Cairo reached on a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield, it was like it was just a matter of time before someone hit a three-run homer off of him. After he balked right after that, he just looked defeated and that was before Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce took him yard twice in a matter of three pitches.
I'm not backing off of my belief that Morton's the most talented pitcher in the Pirates' rotation right now by a long shot, but I no longer have any faith that he can get himself straightened out while staying in the big league rotation. I don't know if it's a mental thing or a mechanical thing or a strategic thing. I don't know if it's something he needs to straighten out himself or if it's something that Joe Kerrigan is missing.
This is what I do know: Charlie Morton is the most frustrating pitcher for me to watch since at least the dawn of this blog five years ago and quite possibly of my entire life. That includes Kip Wells, who a handful of you probably remember me writing novella after novella about when his career more or less collapsed back in 2005 and 2006, Oliver Perez, probably the most raw talent we've seen in a pitcher in recent years, and Ian Snell, who's descent from promising young pitcher to headcase was maddening. Morton's still relatively young and there never seems to be any erosion of his skill on the mounc. He goes out there, throws the pitches that everyone says he can throw, and they get shelled. Tonight he was clearly a bit off (everything just looked a bit flatter and the PitchFX numbers say that they were and his command was not good, as evidenced by the tee he put Rolen's homer on), but his velocity wasn't really down at all and honestly, I think his spirit was more or less broken with the second batter.
I don't think the guys any less talented than I did five hours ago, but at some point it's time to acknowledge that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.