Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik's inside look at Wednesday's game:
• Charlie Morton is coming off a career-high, 11-strikeout performance at Tampa Bay, where he was a tough-luck loser. Morton primarily is known as a groundball pitcher, but he has increased his strikeout rate from 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings last season to 7.5 this season. Morton's strikeouts were way up in June when he averaged 10.9 per nine innings. Morton has increased the use of his curveball, which can be a swing-and-miss pitch.
• The Pirates never have faced Chase Anderson, who has been thrown into the rotation because of a rash of injuries.
A number of the Astros' internal trade discussions were leaked by Deadspin on Monday and authenticated by Yahoo. Astros GM Jeffrey Luhnow asked the Pirates for top pitching prospects Tyler Glasnow or Nick Kingham plus Luis Heredia in a deal for Bud Norris last year. Neal Huntington declined. Huntington was willing to listen about a number of prospects, but not Gregory Polanco or Jameson Taillon.
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