Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Uncle Charlie Factor


Hey, I don't know how many people have tracked this, but Charlie Morton has made the World Series three times with three different teams in the last five years. Two of the three he's won. Not a lot of people have that kind of track record. Joc Pederson may have won 2 rings consecutively, but Charlie Morton went from a low-level, low-market starter with no real upsides to a key starter for THREE DIFFERENT WORLD SERIES TEAMS. 

People are gonna talk about career second acts a bit in a year or so when Adrian Beltre is up for Hall of Fame induction, but right now I don't think there's anyone who's as indicative of a second act as Morton. Since rushing to the forefront with the Astros in 2017, Morton is 69-29 with a 3.47 ERA and 1042 strikeouts in 157 games. Before that he was 46-71 with a 4.54 ERA and 630 strikeouts in 162 games. I do love that he's turned things around like this [even if, yes, he could have proved this with the Phillies in 2016 if he'd have just stayed healthy].

And right now, with the Braves, Morton is not only a great mentor figure for a lot of young Braves, including Ian Anderson, Bryce Elder and Spencer Strider, but Morton's fitting right in with them and still a great rotation piece. Morton's got a 4.08 ERA, a 8-5 record and 180 strikeouts, which is still a pretty awesome K total for a guy who's 38 years old. I think the Braves are really gonna bank on this guy for postseason starts, in addition of Max Fried, Kyle Wright and Spencer Strider. If he can still be an excellent October pitcher, the Braves are even luckier.

Also...guys, the Braves have lost 7 games since August 9th. SEVEN. And they've had a ton of wins, building so much momentum that they've lapped the Mets for the division. This is a contrast from last year- in 2021, the Braves squeaked past the Mets and Phillies and won the NL East with only 88 wins. This year the Braves have 87 wins as I write this, and could have won 88 by the time you read it. By design, the Braves have gone beyond their 2021 shocking breakthrough and become a more consistent, more durable team, with so many young pieces making sure they'll stay good for the foreseeable future.

The Braves are succeeding where the Nationals failed. And if the Braves can stay hot, they could go back for another ring.

Coming Tonight: A second generation major leaguer trying to keep his team in 1st.

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