Oh no. Not again.
There was Brandon Morrow in the fifth inning, having been given a 3-0 lead by his Toronto Blue Jays offense, standing on the mound with the bases loaded, two Seattle Mariners runs having already come in to score. The reason he was in this mess? Four free passes to opposing batters in the inning.
A fifth to slugger Michael Morse would have tied the game. A hit allowed would have done the same, and potentially more.
Getting a sense of deja vu? If you’ve followed the career of the talented right-hander, you aren’t the only one. This was perhaps most reminiscent of Morrow’s five-walk inning against the Boston Red Sox on May 10 of 2010 that saw him unable to escape the second frame after just 62 pitches.
I suppose of what happened on Sunday had happened then, there was no way that he would have been able to stay in the game.
This is a different Brandon Morrow now, however; and instead of collapsing under the potential mess that awaited him, he simply buckled down, got Morse to fly out, and moved on.
In fact, he ended up doing much more than that. Forget merely a quality start — the righty continued on with three straight scoreless innings to complete an eight-inning gem, allowing only three total hits and eight strikeouts.
Sure, there was a whole lot less pressure after the Blue Jays offense finally came out to play and made it a 10-2 laugher by the time Morrow came out for his final frame, but considering that the 28-year-old allowed just a hit and one free pass outside of that nearly disastrous inning, I think it’d be proper to give proper credit where credit is due here.
That he delivered his best outing of the season after flirting with disaster was the just type of resiliency that Toronto needed to see from Morrow. He has yet to find a consistent footing on this season, but might still be the most (some would say frustratingly) talented member of the starting five that the team has, and big things (as if that’s new) are expected of him in 2013.
And while it’s gotten to the point where a 10-2 blowout is simply just a baby step in the big scheme of things, any break from falling even further behind in the AL East race is a welcomed one, no?