It was good to see Charlie Morton back pitching for the Astros.
When you are Charlie Morton, people root for you. After years of being just another guy in the rotation, Morton broke out last year with the Houston Astros. Fans now refer to him as Charlie Freaking Morton after his heroics in Game 7 of the World Series. Of course, Alex Bregman gave him the nickname, but fans ran with it. Despite the CFM craze, Morton still likes the nickname Ground Chuck, which he wore during players weekend.
With his playoff success last year, many people were concerned about what was wrong with Morton in his last start on August 28th. He only lasted 4 2/3 innings and was placed on the DL with shoulder discomfort the next day. All stats via Baseball-Reference. I heard some radio hosts talking about not being able to trust Morton in the rotation during the playoffs. I disagree and think that he will be one of the key reasons why this team wins again in 2018.
Even when he was placed on the DL, it was expected that his stay would be short. It was indeed as he was set to pitch against the Red Sox on Saturday. This was the second time this year that Morton had faced the Red Sox, with his first start not being the best for his resume. Back on June 3, Morton was the losing pitcher after giving up six runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-1 loss. Morton also faced the Red Sox last year in the ALCS, where he lasted 4 1/3 innings allowing two runs.
With the Astros likely to meet up with the Red Sox in the ALCS this year, it was good to see Morton bounceback to get the win. He lasted five innings allowing two runs on 94 pitches. They may limit his innings in his 3-4 remaining starts to keep him strong for the playoffs. While the top three starters are great, it’s always good to have a fourth starter like Morton. It had to feel good getting that win and back on the mound.