Charlie Morton impresses in Braves debut on a chilly day in Chicago

The Atlanta veteran made his season debut on a very cold day in the Windy City.

Atlanta Braves v Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves v Chicago White Sox / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves had a successful series in Philadelphia, taking two of the three games against their division rival. It was an offensive explosion and for the most part, pitching was excellent as well. There were a few hiccups here and there but that is to be expected.

Charlie Morton is entering what could be his final season in baseball and he's happy to be doing it with the Atlanta Braves. He made his season debut on Monday afternoon and looked great despite the blistery on-field conditions.

Charlie started a bit rough on the mound but some of that is probably due to the chilly weather. That can make it very difficult for anyone to grip a baseball. Fortunately, he settled in and pitched a great game through 5.2 innings.

He didn't allow any runs but Chicago had three hits. Morton walked two batters and struck out six over that stint as well. It was encouraging to see the Braves have that quality of a pitcher in the fourth spot of the rotation.

His fastball sat in the 94-95 mph range most of the day and his curveball was as sharp as ever. The spin rate was incredible on the pitch which has kept Morton in the game for so long. One of those curveballs hit 3,152 RPMs which is elite-level spin.

Morton was pulled after getting two outs in the sixth inning when he reached 91 pitches. He was replaced by lefty reliever Dylan Lee who struck out Gavin Sheets for the final out of the inning. Lee came out for the seventh inning and worked a 1-2-3 inning. He completed his day with 1.1 innings pitched and with two strikeouts.

The great bullpen work continued as Tyler Matzek, who is returning from Tommy John, looked excellent in the eighth inning. There was a 45-minute rain delay with two outs in the top of the inning and after that delay, Austin Riley smacked a three-run homer to right field to break things open with a 9-0 score.

Once Matzek entered the game, he dominated by striking out three batters. He did walk a batter after his second strikeout but all-in-all it was an impressive outing for Matzek. The game was called due to heavy rain after this half-inning. There was no need to try to squeeze in one more inning with the Braves up as many runs as they were.

Hopefully, this trend of great pitching continues for the Braves as they hope to finish out the series in Chicago but that is dependent on the weather. Rain is expected tomorrow and snow on Wednesday. We will keep you updated as information is relayed about these games. Reynaldo Lopez is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday evening for his Braves debut.

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