How has Charlie Morton returned to his Cy Young level of play?

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For the first time since his second start of the season, Charlie Morton‘s ERA dipped below 4.00 yesterday as he turned in another tremendous outing against the Houston Astros. He allowed just two earned runs over six innings while striking out 11 batters. It was Morton’s second double-digit strikeout outing in as many games¬†and his fifth over his last 13 starts, dating back to June 11th, when Morton clearly figured something out with his curveball.

The formula for Morton’s success is rather simple. When his swing-and-miss stuff is on, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. When it’s not, he’s liable to give up a lot of hard contact, which is why he’s given up a career-high 18 homers this season, and we’re not even in September yet.

Thankfully, Charlie Morton’s swing-and-miss stuff looks to have returned just at the right time. Take a look at his rolling 20-game averages when it comes to Contact%:

Morton’s swing-and-miss stuff as of late is back down to where it was at the end of last season, and it’s close to where he was at with the Rays back in 2019, when he finished third in the AL Cy Young race.

Over his last 81 innings, Charlie Morton has 110 strikeouts. And in his last two starts, he’s shut down the very potent lineups of the Mets and Astros. Charlie F’N Morton is all the way back, and he will be a critical piece to the Braves as they aim to become the first team to repeat as champions since the Yankees did it in 2000.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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