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Charlie Morton's World Series came to an abrupt end after he broke his right leg in Tuesday's Game 1.
The Atlanta Braves starter saw his night end at 44 pitches after an awkward follow-through on a pitch in the bottom of the third inning. The Braves later announced that X-rays revealed a right fibula fracture. He won't pitch again in the World Series.
The injury was bad news on an otherwise good night for the Braves, who took a 1-0 lead in the Fall Classic with a 6-2 win.
Morton nearly fell to the mound after striking out Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve with a curveball for the first out of the third inning.
Charlie Morton, Filthy 80mph Curveball. 😷
[And he's hurt. 💩] pic.twitter.com/GXMb55OeEj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 27, 2021
It ended up being his last pitch of the night. He left the game after a short meeting on the mound.
Morton kept pitching well after suffering injury on comebacker
Morton initially suffered the injury when a comebacker on a Yuli Gurriel ground ball hit his right ankle the previous 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 play led to the first out of the inning. Morton tallied two more outs in the second on his injured leg, striking out Chas McCormick before inducing a lineout from Martín Maldonado to end the inning.
He then returned to strike out Altuve in the third before the pain became too much to bear. In total, Morton threw 16 pitches across two innings on his injured leg including a 96 mph fastball.
Morton finished his night with three strikeouts and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Braves batters tallied two home runs en route to the 5-0 lead before Morton was forced to exit the game.
Tough blow for Braves
Morton, 37, led the Braves with 185 2/3 innings pitched across 33 starts during the regular season. The two-time All-Star tallied a 3.34 ERA, 1.045 WHIP and a 14-6 record in the regular season while recording a team-high 216 strikeouts alongside 58 walks.
Beyond that, Morton was also the Braves' most experienced starter in the postseason by a wide margin, holding a 3.45 ERA in 75.2 innings
In addition to the obvious blow of losing Morton, his early exit put an unexpected strain on the Braves bullpen in the first game of the series.