That couldn’t have gone any better.
Some numbers for the night from Pitch F/x:
106 pitches thrown, 72 strikes (17 of them swinging), 34 balls
62 fastballs, 16 changeups, 15 sliders, 12 curveballs, 1 splitter
Average fastball velocity: 95.7 MPH
Fastest pitch – 98.4 MPH fastball
Slowest pitch – 80.7 MPH curveball
Morrow only threw his fastball 58% of the time tonight, compared to 76% of the time when he was a reliever. That’s a huge change in approach, and one that he absolutely had to make. That he was able to sustain a fastball with an average of 96 MPH for 106 pitches is pretty remarkable, honestly – no other starter in baseball consistently rushes their fastball up to the plate at that speed. Not even Felix.
If he’s going to keep throwing 95 and mixing in offspeed stuff 40% of the time, he’s going to be terrific.
And, just for fun, here’s a histogram of Morrow’s pitches tonight. He might be the easiest pitcher in baseball to discern between his fastball and offspeed stuff.