Brandon Morrow has cartoon stuff. He throws his fastball consistently in the mid-90s and he can beat you with a wicked slider and a solid changeup.
When Morrow has it all working, a given start of his can be a thing of beauty.
Morrow's latest masterpiece came on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field at the expense of the Chicago White Sox. The ChiSox have been hot recently, but Morrow made them look like a bunch of cavemen trying to hit marbles with clubs.
[Go ahead. Picture it].
Morrow ended up going the distance, giving no earned runs on just two hits and two walks. He threw 78 of his 119 pitches for strikes, and he struck out five. In the process, he lowered his ERA from 3.28 to 2.90.
If you missed it, MLB.com has the video highlights.
A complete-game shutout is as good as it gets for pitchers, but Wednesday night's dominance was more or less a ho-hum occasion for Morrow. Complete-game shutouts with minimal hits are starting to become a common occurrence for him.
Morrow has now thrown three complete-game shutouts this season in which he has allowed three or fewer hits. Major League Baseball pointed out something interesting about that on Twitter:
Before Brandon Morrow, the last AL pitcher to have a trio of shutouts on 3-or-fewer hits in an entire season was Mike Mussina in 2001.— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 7, 2012
The key phrase here, of course, is "in an entire season." Morrow has already made a bit of history, and we are still in early June. At the rate he is going, he is going to end up with roughly nine complete-game shutouts with three or fewer hits.
I won't put it past Morrow to do it. With the kind of stuff he has, he is a threat to do something special every time he takes the mound.
I just wish he was not so darned inconsistent.
Morrow may have three complete-game shutouts to his name, but he has also had three games this season in which he has allowed six earned runs. There are times when he just flat-out does not have it, and the wheels tend to fall off in a hurry.
Over or under 7 complete-game shutouts for Brandon Morrow this season?
Morrow has also had a start this season in which he allowed four earned runs. In his other eight starts, he has allowed one earned run or fewer.
As frustrating as Morrow's inconsistency may be, you can't help but ask a very simple question: What if his inconsistency suddenly goes away?
That's something the rest of the American League shudders to think about.
We shall see if that day comes. For the time being, Morrow can enjoy the American League "Best of the Night" award I'm giving to him. There were some pretty solid pitching performances on Wednesday night (hats off to Ivan Nova and Bartolo Colon), but his was easily the best.
Rest assured, this won't be the last time he wins the award this season.
If you ever want to nominate somebody for American League "Best of the Night" honors, hit me up on Twitter.