Braves starter Charlie Morton fractured his right fibula during Tuesday night’s game against the Astros, the club announced. He’ll obviously miss the rest of the World Series, but the Braves announced that he’s expected to be ready for spring training.
Morton got the start in Tuesday night's World Series opener. He was struck in the leg by a Yuli Gurriel comebacker that turned in a groundout to lead off the second inning.
This was the Gurriel comebacker that got Morton's shin in the second inning. My guess is he had to exit because the area swelled over the past inning. pic.twitter.com/NuV4Zm50Yh— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 27, 2021
That ball evidently broke Morton’s leg, but he incredibly remained in the game to strike out Chas McCormick and induce a Martín Maldonado lineout. Morton even returned to the mound to start the bottom of the third, punching out José Altuve before swelling in the area made it impossible for him to continue.
Charlie Morton did all of this on a broken leg pic.twitter.com/ONuE8boYIf— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) October 27, 2021
Fortunately for the Braves, their bullpen was able to save the game. A.J. Minter worked 2.2 innings in relief of Morton, with Luke Jackson and Tyler Maztek taking the mound in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively. Will Smith closed out the game for the Braves, who were able to hold on for a 6-2 victory.
Atlanta will obviously have to navigate the rest of the series without its top starter. Max Fried is already lined up to start Wednesday’s Game 2, with Ian Anderson the most likely candidate to take the ball in Game 3. The Braves added Kyle Wright to their World Series roster, and he’s capable of working multiple innings after starting for the entire season. Wright has worked almost exclusively in Triple-A this year, however, so he’s not an ideal option to start a World Series game. The Braves will also be able to add another arm to the roster as an injury replacement, but their options aren’t great. Fourth starter Huascar Ynoa is out for the rest of the postseason as well after suffering a shoulder injury last week.
It’s a relief that the Braves’ immediate announcement noted that Morton is expected to ready for the start of next season. Still, it’s a disappointing conclusion to another strong campaign for the well-respected hurler. Morton will be back in Atlanta in 2022, having signed a $20 million extension last month.