Can we officially proclaim Brandon Morrow the Sam Bowie of the 2006 MLB Draft yet?
After Sunday’s “save” (which is a generous use of the term, considering Morrow nearly blew a three-run lead), Morrow has started to give me that stomach-churning feeling I used to get when Bobby Ayala or Jose Mesa entered games.
Morrow clearly has more talent than both Mesa or Ayala (Ayala couldn’t rush the ball up there nearly as fast as Morrow, and Mesa didn’t have as good of offspeed pitches), but he can’t seem to avoid the same pitfalls that the two infamous ex-closers often encountered: namely, the ability to escape the ninth inning unscathed.
After Morrow recorded two outs in the bottom of the ninth of Sunday’s ballgame, the righthander all of a sudden couldn’t find the strike zone. He threw more than 10 straight balls in a row, and left all his pitches up, meaning he probably lost control of his mechanics. The good news is that mechanics are easily fixable, while mental lapses are not. So we can only hope that this is problem is more physical than cerebral.
Either way, we need Brandon Morrow to buckle down and be the pitcher he can be. He’s clearly better than he’s shown in limited duty as the closer this year. But if he can’t start, and he can’t close, then what does he become? We’re not ready to give up yet, Brandon, but you’re making it harder to believe in you with each subsequent outing.