In a season full of obstacles, the Braves have another big one to clear.
The Atlanta Braves pulled off a huge 6-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series but the victory came with a cost. Charlie Morton was struck in the leg on a batted ball by Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel. He finished the inning and then came back out for the third and struck out Jose Altuve but left the game. The Braves announced later that X-rays showed a fractured right fibula and that Morton would be lost for the remainder of the World Series.
“He wanted to keep going because he was down in the tunnel and he was throwing against the wall, and he said it kind of hurts more when I run. I feel good when I throw,” Snitker said of Morton between innings. “Then obviously, it didn’t.”
Obviously this is a huge blow for the Braves who not only lose arguably their No. 1 starter but also their one with the most playoff experience.
“Just the fact that he wanted to keep going. They were X-Raying him. That’s Charlie. He wants to be on this stage,” Snitker said. “God bless him, I hate it for him. Really hate it for him. He’s such a great person and teammate. I really hate it for him because I know he’s really looking forward to this run with us. So we’ll move on.”
Moving on won’t be easy, but it is something that they will have to do. Atlanta already lost Huascar Ynoa to a shoulder injury during the postseason. Kyle Wright was added to the World Series roster after throwing just 6 1/3 innings at the Major League level in 2021. The Braves have options, just none of them anywhere close to the caliber of Morton.
“They’re talking about that right now as we speak,” Snitker said of replacing Morton. “It’s just like the other day when Soler came in and was scratched from the lineup two hours before the game. I just told Alex, I said, don’t worry, these guys are going to keep going. They’re going to keep fighting. They’re going to keep battling. We’ve been through this many times this year, losing key components to our club.”
When Morton was struck, he didn’t really show any signs of discomfort. He went out and finished the inning and then came back and struck out another hitter before exiting.
“When the inning was over, we meet and talk about what’s going on,” Travis d’Arnaud said. “He said, oh, that one got me good. He was kind of walking a little funny. I didn’t think it was broken. I just thought he took a line drive off of his leg. But to go out there and strike out the next guy with a broken leg, it blows my mind.”
This Braves team overcame a lot of obstacles to get back to the World Series. They overcame multiple injuries to key players such as Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mike Soroka. Even d’Arnaud himself was sidelined for months with a thumb injury. Overcoming the loss of Morton won’t be easy, but it was good that they were able to go out and nail down a win in Game 1. Had they let that lead slip away, then this news would have been even more devastating.
“Yeah, it’s tough losing Charlie,” d’Arnaud added. “The person he is in the clubhouse, the mentor he is in the clubhouse, especially this time of the year, is very valuable. For us to lose him in Game 1, it’s a dagger, but he’s still going to be there with us, cheering us on, and still trying to teach us everything that he’s learned along his path and his career.
So it’s just a little speed bump, but I believe that all of us are going to just stay together, stay tight, and just keep loving each other.”