Me too, Mr. Morrow. Me too.
Some of those  numbers don’t look so hot, but if you look at the nerd stats, I’m having a pretty good year. I’m not always sure how they come to those conclusions, but I like them.
Again: Me too. Math is crazy. And I can’t help but wonder whether Morrow knows he scores a perfect 10 according to the most recent Pitcher NERD Leaderboards of Pleasure.
I can picture Morrow, though, almost vividly, in his downtown Toronto condo, on his laptop, perusing FanGraphs.com.
“Honey, guess whose FIP is now under 3.00, and good for sixth in the American League? Beast mode! And, whoa, my SIERA’s third in the AL, behind only Verlander and Sabathia. Double beast mode!”
Brandon Morrow is one of those guys with electric “stuff.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I love that the word “stuff,” so banal, is used to describe a pitcher who throws a baseball a remarkable number of which ways, who makes a baseball dance, who strikes out the most batters per nine innings in all of the game. But more than just his “stuff,” Morrow, as evidenced, is a highly educated man. He’s like me, like you, like us. He appreciates advanced baseball statistics. He’s a nerd. Brandon Morrow is the thinking man’s A.J. Burnett.
Having been able to watch Morrow take the mound over the past year and a half as a starting pitcher has been a blessed experience. Sure, we miss Brandon League in Toronto, especially when the Blue Jays’ bullpen implodes, often in utterly spectacular fashion, at least once a week. But Morrow, man, that “stuff.” There’s a no-hitter in his future. I feel like it’s almost guaranteed. Only a matter of time. And lord knows we’re due for another one up here.
Wednesday night, the Blue Jays in Seattle, I was thinking no-hitter two hitless innings into Morrow’s start. Actually, if I can be completely honest, based on the fact it was Morrow versus the Mariners, and an Ichiro I hardly recognize, I was thinking no-no before the game even began. Now, and this might come off a bit twisted, I was almost relieved when Seattle’s Mike Carp singled in the fourth inning to end Morrow’s no-hit bid. Not that I didn’t want Morrow to get it, of course not, but I was at the gym late Wednesday night, on a stationary bike, and following the game on my mobile. I had every intention to ask GoodLife Fitness employee Lisa to pretty, pretty please put the game on one of the TVs, but as I walked in at 10:30 pm, she looked, well, first and foremost, like she didn’t want to be there, and that she hated her life, and her job, more than she’d ever hated her life and her job before. I wanted to ask her to put on The Brandon Morrow Show, I really did, instead of asking her how her puppy had perished, but I couldn’t. It felt wrong to do so. Even though Morrow, through two innings, was dealing. I took the towel she handed me, and didn’t say a word.
So, while tying the laces of my running shoes in the change room, I devised a plan: I’d follow Morrow’s outing on my iPhone. If he got through six innings with the no-hitter still intact, I’d leave, race home. Once I learned of Carp’s single, I exhaled. I put my phone away. It’s stressful, man, watching a potential no-hitter. The heart races. Especially on a goddamn stationary bike. And Blue Jays starters often tease. Last August, when Morrow was an out away from history against the Tampa Bay Rays, I found myself sitting on my knees in front of my television, hands clasped together, nervous, so damn nervous. Logic had gone out the window at that point. I mean, Morrow had struck out 16. I’ll be honest: I was praying. To the Baseball Gods, I guess, but I was praying. And I sat on my knees, slumped, exactly like Aaron Hill at second base, incredulous, after Evan Longoria put a single just past him.
Brandon Morrow’s next start is Tuesday, at home in Toronto, against the Kansas City Royals. That could be the night.
Image courtesy Flickr user marlene*.