The Atlanta Braves are in familiar territory.
The club has a 2-0 lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, and with two more victories, Atlanta will find itself in the World Series.
But we’ve seen this before.
Just last season, the Braves were in an identical spot
They had a 2-0 series lead on the Dodgers in the NLCS.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for Atlanta.
L.A. battled back and took the series in seven games.
Atlanta’s fans and players haven’t forgotten, and the baseball gods have given the club a chance at redemption in 2021.
Will the Braves force a different outcome this time around?
We’re going to find out.
And the answer will probably have a lot to do with the way Braves righty Charlie Morton performs in Game 3.
Morton Is Making Arguably His Biggest Start Of The Season In Game 3
Morton wasn’t a member of the Braves last season when Atlanta suffered heartbreak at the hands of the Dodgers.
But make no mistake: He wants to win this series just as much as everyone else in Atlanta’s locker room.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 19, 2021
The 37-year-old is trying to win his second World Series — his first came in 2017 with the Houston Astros.
Morton has a great playoff resume.
He has a career postseason ERA of 3.44 over 15 outings (14 starts).
Of his 14 playoff starts, he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 12 of them.
That’s a pretty impressive track record, and he’ll look to add another chapter to his playoff legacy in Game 3.
If he can pitch the Braves to a victory, Atlanta will be in great shape to win the series.
Morton Has Found New Life With The Braves
Morton has a lot of history with the Braves.
In fact, Atlanta drafted him way back in 2002.
He made his MLB debut with the organization in 2008, but his stint with the team came to an end when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009.
Morton and the Braves spent more than a decade apart, but they reunited for the 2021 season.
That has proven to be a great decision for both sides.
Morton pitched to a 3.34 ERA in the regular season over 33 starts.
He fanned 216 batters in 185.2 innings, registered a 3.18 FIP, 1.05 WHIP, and earned a WAR of 4.0.
Charlie Morton, 97mph RDTD Fastball…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/LRUrDkAKQG
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 1, 2021
After he had a rocky year in 2020, he silenced the doubters in the 2021 regular season.
And he’s not done yet.
The two-time All-Star is still proving the naysayers wrong as the playoffs continue.
The Braves are looking for their first World Series title since 1995 and their first World Series appearance since 1999.
If Morton shows up and does his thing in Game 3, Atlanta will have a great chance at taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the NLCS.
You can’t count the Dodgers out no matter what, but if the Braves go up 3-0, they’ll be considered virtual locks to advance to Fall Classic.
Will Morton rise to the occasion and put Atlanta in that position?
We’ll find out in just a few hours.