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Welcome Matt, part I

If Matt Morris walks the leadoff batter in the eighth inning, and does it with a four-run lead, he's running on fumes. This isn't to second guess Felipe Alou, who is not only unfamiliar with managing Morris, but has a bullpen that hasn't earned anyone's trust yet. Even a tired Morris could be preferable to the incendiary bunch currently taking over the late innings. If the bullpen starts to stabilize, though, yesterday's start might be worth remembering in similar situations. Just because a guy can get 10% off at Carrow's with his Designated 200-Inning Horse discount card, doesn't always mean he's fresh past the seventh inning.

It was a great start, and the lackluster end takes nothing away from the performance. It would have been brutal to have had to dip into the pile of oily bullpen rags early in the first game of a doubleheader. Morris brings out the inner Krukow in me. He's a guy who knows how to pitch. And he doesn't get rattled. And he hits his spots. And he's a good example for all the young pitchers out there. Sayings like those have become almost meaningless, applied to every Tom, Dick, and Osvaldo out there, but I can believe the press clippings when Morris is pitching. And he's a gamer. And he knows when to trust his defense. And he....

It's not exactly time to melt down the Marichal statue for a Matt Morris replacement, especially considering he started last season even more spectacular before burning out, but the early returns on Morris make me optimistic about this season.