Charlie Morton’s resurgence has Braves rotation primed for excellence

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Entering Wednesday’s game against the Giants, the Braves were 2-24 when trailing after six innings and 0-26 when trailing after the seventh inning. However, they decided not to waste a gem of a start from Charlie Morton and scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth two nights after Orlando Arcia delivered a walk-off single. This time it was Adam Duvall.

Atlanta is starting to look like the defending World Series champions as they begin to claim late-inning wins again. Winners of 18 of their last 21 games, the club sits just 4.0 games back of the division-leading Mets in NL East. And the resurgence of the veteran Morton has the starting rotation primed for the final 91 games of the season.

Through his first five starts, Morton produced an unsightly 6.85 ERA. His early-season struggles were probably a product of several things — most notably, a fractured fibula suffered in Game 1 of the World Series last season and a shortened Spring Training. His control was a glaring concern, but after recording double-digit strikeout totals in two of his previous three outings, the old man finally looks to be shaking off the rust.

Morton has punched out 32 batters and issued just one walk while totaling 20 innings over his past three starts. He’s also tallied double-digit whiff totals in each of his four June starts. Over that same period, Morton has a 3.60 ERA, and his 3.37 FIP suggests he’s even been a tad unlucky. 

Despite Morton’s struggles, the Braves’ rotation has still been one of the best in the league. Their 3.84 ERA ranks seventh even with sluggish starts from he and Ian Anderson. Now that Morton has begun to look like the 2021 version of himself, the rotation has the chance to rival any in baseball behind Max Fried, Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider, and Anderson, who has also recently strung together several impressive outings.

Photo: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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