Sports photo of the week (IX)

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates starter Charlie Morton prepares to deliver a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, July 18, 2011 at PNC Park. Morton pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five batters to improve to 8-5 on the season with an ERA of 3.62. Pittsburgh’s bullpen pitched four hitless innings following Morton’s departure to give the Pirates a 2-0 victory.

Morton has been one of the team’s top starters this season and is a reason why Pittsburgh stands a shot at finishing above the .500 mark for the first time since 1992, which was also the last time they made the playoffs.

As of this morning, the Pirates and Brewers are tied for first place in the National League Central and the fans are taking notice. Pittsburgh is averaging close to 24,000 fans per game this year (21st out of 30 MLB teams) and that number should continue to rise as more people begin to recognize the magical summer the Pirates are having.

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