The Atlanta Braves took Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros, the American League champs.
The circumstances surrounding the Braves’ victory were incredible, though.
It was not your typical World Series win: Charlie Morton, the Braves’ starter, could only stay on the mound for 2.1 innings.
During the second frame, Yuli Gurriel hit a 102-mph missile that hit Morton on his right leg.
He made 10 pitches after Gurriel’s come-backer hit him.
To close the third inning, he struck out Jose Altuve, but he didn’t hide his pain at the end of his windup.
It was evident that something was bothering him in his lower body.
The Braves took him out of the game and replaced him with A.J. Minter.
A Broken Fibula
During the game, it was revealed that Morton had suffered a broken fibula in the impact of Gurriel’s liner.
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.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 27, 2021
It means he retired three hitters with a broken leg.
The injury will keep Morton from getting to the mound again in the World Series, but he is expected to be fully healthy by the time the 2022 season rolls around.
Still, his loss is a colossal one, and it will be very difficult for the Braves to replace him.
But that strikeout against Altuve was iconic in many ways.
Charlie Morton, Filthy 80mph Curveball. 😷
[And he's hurt. 💩] pic.twitter.com/GXMb55OeEj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 27, 2021
That strikeout is actually the Braves’ season in a nutshell: dealing with adversity and having the inner strength to overcome it.
Atlanta lost its best player, Ronald Acuna Jr., to a torn ACL back in July.
Another top outfielder, Marcell Ozuna, is on administrative leave until the end of the 2021 postseason after his involvement in a domestic violence incident.
The team also lost Mike Soroka, a top pitcher, and lots of other contributors.
All four have been crucial contributors in the Braves’ postseason run.
A True Bulldog
As for Morton, he showed that he is not only a tough competitor, as he tried to pitch with the injury until it was evident he couldn’t do it anymore; but also, a good teammate.
During and after the game, when it was already public that he had a leg fracture, teammates were approaching him to offer their support during the tough times.
Seeing him freeze Altuve with a filthy curveball even though he was pitching on one leg was incredibly impressive, and it’s surely a moment fans will remember for years to come.