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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow warms up before facing the Boston Red Sox in Spring Training action in Dunedin, Fla. on Wednesday March 7 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn (Frank Gunn/CP)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow warms up before facing the Boston Red Sox in Spring Training action in Dunedin, Fla. on Wednesday March 7 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn (Frank Gunn/CP)

Morrow mows down the O's Add to ...

Two games in and Toronto Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow hasn’t flipped anybody into the dirt or brushed back anyone. In fact, on Monday, he allowed that maybe a few folks misunderstood what he meant this winter with his now-famous quip about finding “a certain level of [testiness]that you need to really succeed.”

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“I’m not throwing at anybody,” Morrow said after three lightning-fast innings against the Orioles – 33 pitches, 27 strikes and eight of 11 first-pitch strikes. “I’m talking about being aggressive with all your stuff.”

Using his curveball and three change-ups, Morrow said that it might have been his most efficient three innings ever. He wasn’t joking. “Change of speed … getting guys in front … more contact,” Morrow said, rattling off the reasons for the pitch count.

“I plan to continue to get some quicker innings and outs. I left a couple of strikeouts out there, probably, and could have used my slider to get a strikeout on a few occasions. But I haven’t used that, yet.

“I was getting it done, striking guys out. But 4½ (earned-run average) the last two years isn’t what you want out of your No. 2 starter.”

For manager John Farrell, it was some of the subtler points of Morrow’s game that were impressive. A point of emphasis has been the amount of time it takes Morrow (and other Blue Jays pitchers) to deliver a pitch with men on base – his “unloading time,” in Farrellspeak.

“There’s a range of time,” Farrell said. “Normally, you like to see it under 1.3 seconds. Today he was in the high one-teens, and has the ability to quick-pitch on occasion. So, it shows an awareness and an ability to control the running game.”

Morrow’s trying to channel his inner No. 2 starter. The rest can come later.

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