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The Season That Was: Brandon Morrow

After a 2010 season (his first with the Jays) that saw Brandon Morrow stay in the rotation for the full season, for the first time in him major league career, we were all looking forward to 2011.

In 2010 Morrow started slowly but finished great. In the first half of the season he had a 4.86 ERA, in the second half it was 3.69, so we all thought that he would have a better season this year. My guess:

12-8, 28 starts, 180 innings (still managing his innings) and a 3.60 ERA. Fewer walks about 3.5 a game. Maybe a few fewer strikeouts. 9.75 a game.

So I missed by a bit, though only off by .2 on innings, and exactly right on BB/9. 

His real numbers:

2011 - Brandon Morrow 11-11 30 30 0 0 0 0 179.1 162 103 94 21 69 203 4.72 1.29

Fangraphs has him at a 3.4 WAR good for a value of $15.5 million to the Jays. 

Brandon's strikeout rate was down a bit, 26.1% from 28.3% (he still led the league in strikeouts per 9 at 10.2). His walk rate was down too, 8.9% from 10.5%. His home run allowed was way up, 1.05/9 from .68/9.

His BABIP came down from .342 in 2010 to a more normal .299 this year. He gave up more line drives this year, 22.4% form 17.8%. Fewer ground balls 36.0% from 40.4%. About the same number of fly balls 41.6% from 41.8%. More of the fly balls off him left the park, 10.3% from 7.1%. 

Brandon's FIP, 3.64, and xFIP, 3.53, were much better than his ERA. Hopefully that's a sign that things should improve in the future.

Morrow, surprisingly, at least to me, had reverse platoon stats, RHB hit .260/.345/.445 and lefties hit .220/.291/.350.

He was far better on the road (6-3, 3.07 ERA with a batting line of .193/.280/.323) than at home (5-8, 6.31, batters hitting .275/.345/.450). I don't know why that would be. In 2010 he was much better at home than on the road. I'm figuring it is just one of those weird splits that don'e really mean much.

Of course the other big split is that he was much better with the bases empty (batters hitting .217/.292/.340) than with runners on (.267/.346/.466). This was true in 2010 as well. 

Brandon by Month:

April: 0-1, 3.97 in 2 starts. Batters hit .220/.267/.317.

May: 2-2, 5.51 in 6 starts. .271/.351/.372.

June: 2-1, 3.77 in 5 starts. .228/.302/.360.

July: 4-1, 4.62 in 6 starts. .236/.302/.375.

August: 1-4, 5.58 in 5 starts. .233/.313/.475.

September: 2-2, 4.42. .222/.316/.400.

Brandon started the season on the DL. I thought he hit the wall in August but he finished up the season with 3 good starts. 

Morrow's longest winning streak of the season was 5 games, from June 18th till July 20th. The Jays won all 7 of his starts in that stretch. His longest losing streak was 4 games, August 23 to September 13th. 

His best game score came on September 18th, against the Yankees, he had an 81, off an 8 inning, 4 hit, 1 walk game with 8 strikeouts. He got a 78 on his next start. Worst game score was an 8 on June 11th against the Red Sox. 4.1 innings, 10 hits, 9 earned, 3 walks, 4 k. 

It wasn't a good season for Brandon. We all know that he didn't have a ground ball double play until his last start of the season. I'd like to think that next year almost has to be better.