It’s been a highly inconsistent year for Charlie Morton, but if the Atlanta Braves are going to repeat as World Series champions they need him to come up big in the postseason.
The Atlanta Braves starting rotation has been one of the best in all of baseball the entire season. They’re top 10 in ERA and WHIP, top 5 in batting average against, and second in strikeouts.
It is worth mentioning that the starting staff has also issued the fifth-most walks, but they’ve also thrown the sixth-most innings.
As much talk as there has been about the lack of offense lately, the Atlanta Braves don’t have much chance in the postseason if their starting pitching can’t go deep into games.
And maybe the starter under the biggest microscope since the Spencer Strider news is Charlie Morton.
Max Fried is entrenched at the top and Kyle Wright has consistently given the Braves a quality start all year long.
But they need Morton to turn into that postseason horse he’s been in the past.
September has been particularly tough for Morton with a 5.27 ERA in 5 starts giving up 4 ER or more in three of those starts and he’s completed 6 innings just once in September.
While he’s shown signs of being that pitcher throughout the year, we haven’t seen it on a consistent basis.
But from the moment the Braves signed Morton, it was for the postseason, and that’s where they need him the most.
In 17 postseason appearances, he has a 3.35 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 89 strikeouts in 78 innings with 7 wins.
Last year for the Braves in the postseason he made 4 starts and allowed 6 ER on 11 hits and 10 walks over 16.2 innings with 22 strikeouts.
Those strikeouts are what makes him such a threat in the postseason where dominant pitching tends to play up.
But the walks, hit batters, and home runs are a major concern for Morton this year, and if he doesn’t get that under control.
If he’s going to get back to that postseason form, he has to get those three areas under control.
After a season full of inconsistency from Morton, the Braves need him to step up down the stretch if they’re going to have a chance of repeating.