By the time Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Morton took the mound to start the bottom of the third inning in game one of the World Series, he had a five-run lead to work with, had worked his way out of a first inning bases loaded jam, and had a fractured right fibula.
Atlanta’s ace was forced to leave game one after just 2 ⅓ innings of work, suffering the injury in the second inning from a one-hopper off of the bat of Yuli Gurriel. Morton took a ground ball off his right leg, managing to retire the next two batters of the second inning before getting an X-ray between innings.
“That one got me good,” Morton told Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud after the second inning.
Morton returned for the third and struck out Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, before having to be pulled from the game. It was later revealed that another X-ray showed a fractured fibula, ending Morton’s season.
“RHP Charlie Morton underwent X-rays tonight that revealed a right fibula fracture. He will miss the remainder of the World Series and is expected to be ready for Spring Training in 2022,” the Braves said in a statement.
“I hate it for him,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s such a great person — 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.”
Morton’s teammates were floored by his performance, and his toughness.
“It’s incredible that he even thought of going out there, and I bet you it was so A.J. [Minter] could have some more time to get ready. He sacrificed himself,” d’Arnaud said. “I don’t think he knew it was broken right away, but he knew it was hurting. For him to sacrifice himself to make sure A.J. was ready and for him to strike out Altuve is incredible.”
Even with the injury, Atlanta was able to win game one 6-2, taking a 5-0 lead after three innings and never looking back.
Jorge Soler led the game off with a solo home run, becoming the first player to lead off game one of the World Series with a home run.
We've never seen a World Series open up quite like 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 pic.twitter.com/JP2WuOv56G
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) October 27, 2021
The Braves built a sizable lead in the third inning on a two-run home run by Adam Duvall, and Atlanta’s bullpen went 7.2 innings, giving up just two runs.
“Every single person in that bullpen has a huge heart, has huge fight,” d’Arnaud said.
Atlanta will now be tasked with managing their starting pitching rotation, and replacing Morton’s spot on the roster. They will be allowed an injury replacement, though who that will be is still to be determined.
“It hurts losing Charlie,” Minter said. “What he’s been to this team all year, everyone knows Charlie, his career, he’s a hero in the postseason. So it’s definitely a blow losing him Game 1. But if you’ve been watching us all year, we’ve just been answering the bell and overcoming adversity all year. We’re just going to treat it the same way, next guy up.”
Max Fried will be given the ball for game two Wednesday night in Houston. Jose Urquidy gets the ball for the Astros.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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