Is it time to believe in Charlie Morton? 

May, 19, 2011
Ninety-two pitchers qualified for the ERA title last season, and the worst of the bunch was Detroit Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who had a 5.53 ERA. Kyle Davies, A.J. Burnett and four others also ended up with ERAs on the wrong side of 5.00.

Then there was Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton; his ERA was 7.57, literally one of the worst in history for someone pitching as many as 79 2/3 innings, making 17 starts. Morton was terrible, so terrible that you could have given me 150 choices for a starting pitcher to draft this season, and Morton would not have been one of them. Yes, I would have chosen Bartolo Colon (and actually did in a league) ahead of him.

[+] EnlargeCharlie Morton
Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesCharlie Morton has allowed just one earned run in his past 16 2/3 innings.
On Wednesday night, Morton shut out the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds, who entered Wednesday leading the major leagues in runs scored, and he did so on just five hits. He walked two and fanned five. And it's not like this was his first good start, either. Morton upped his record to 5-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.62, and for the seventh time in eight starts, he induced 11 or more ground-ball outs. Even I have to say the new Charlie Morton is actually quite impressive, at least statistically, the most extreme ground-ball hurler in the game with a 77 percent rate, and he's available in nearly 90 percent of ESPN standard mixed leagues.