If it wasn’t evident before, it should be plain as day to everyone watching the Mariners now, Brandon Morrow is a starting pitcher, not a reliever.
Relievers are asked to get three guys out. Go in for an inning, throw strikes and retire your three batters and hit the showers. That’s it. That’s all they ever have to be concerned with, their three batters. The rest of the game is completely removed from their consciousness. It has to be.
Well Morrow doesn’t work that way. It takes Brandon 2-3 innings to get a feel for his pitches, for how he’s working hitters just like it does for your average starter. Morrow is best suited for working multiple innings, not coming off the pine cold to face three hitters in the ninth with the game on the line.
He’s best going through a routine every fifth day, preparing for a lineup, warming up for an hour and then pitching 6-8 innings of baseball using every last one of his 4-5 pitches that he has in his arsenal.
There should be no denying this after watching the way he pitched for two innings against the Angels last night. Six batters up, six batters down. Brandon was given the freedom to use his offspeed pitches because the game wasn’t necessarily on the line when he came in. Sure you want to keep the score frozen at where it was (2-0) but his team was already down and there was still time (6th, 7th innings) to come back and win. When Morrow has that luxury, that freedom to throw his other pitches without worrying about keeping runners to a minimum, he’s at his most effective.
Two innings, 35 pitches, six batters, three strikeouts, zero hits. And one nasty split finger to go with a 97, 98 mph fastball.
After his work Thursday night how can you not see that Brandon Morrow is a starting pitcher?