Charlie Morton earns win No. 100 as Braves beat Mets

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Braves pitcher Charlie Morton comments on earning his 100th career win and Atlanta's place in the standings ahead of the midseason break.

The Braves’ 37-year-old right-hander Charlie Morton still has it. Morton produced his second consecutive sensational outing, helping his team defeat the Mets 3-0 Tuesday at Citi Field. It pulled the Braves within four games of New York in the National League East.

ExploreMax Fried goes on injured list; Kyle Wright will start Wednesday

Here are five takeaways from Tuesday:

1. Fresh off his best start of the season, Morton delivered another gem. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and striking out a season-best 11 while walking two. He threw 107 pitches (68 strikes). He heavily featured his four-seamer (48 pitches) and curveball (45 pitches).

Morton’s no-hit bid ended with two outs in the fifth, when pinch-hitting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff had a 54-mph infield single. It was about the only break that went against Morton in his first double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

“With the curveball that good, you don’t have to complement it with a whole lot else,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He threw a lot of them. You can’t get ahold of that thing. It’s so big you just can’t hit it. I mean, if it’s in the zone at all, it’s just such a good pitch. The balls are coming out of his hand really, really good. The fastballs. It’s just amazing to me what he can do now.”

2. Morton earned win No. 1 in a Braves uniform back on June 14, 2008, against the Angels. Over a decade and several teams later, he earned win No. 100 with the Braves on Tuesday.

He became the first pitcher since the Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo in 2003 to earn their first and 100th wins with the same team while earning victories for other clubs in between.

“It took me a pretty long time,” Morton said, smiling. “Glad I got there and got there with this group. It was a special night.”

3. The numbers across Morton’s last two outings: 14-2/3 innings, four hits, no runs, 18 strikeouts and just two walks. Morton recently made adjustments to his delivery, as he discussed following his last start, and it’s paying off. He’s leading a Braves rotation that, despite its injuries, has performed well recently.

Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Caption
Atlanta Braves' Dansby Swanson runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. Shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a 381-foot blast in the third inning that scored three runs and wound up being the Braves’ only offense. It was Swanson’s first homer since June 16.

“I feel like guys on the team are really starting to pick up at-bats, really starting to get things jelling and rolling,” Swanson said. “So it’ll be exciting once we kind of get back to our normal depth, in terms of just consistent at-bats one through nine or one through eight (in the lineup). And I feel like our pitchers have actually been swinging pretty well. I’ll give them a little bit of credit. But you can see the momentum starting to build.”

5. The Braves scratched center fielder Guillermo Heredia just before the game due to right-wrist inflammation. Ender Inciarte manned center fand went 1-for-4.

Braves 3, Mets 0 (box score)

Stat to know

100 (Charlie Morton won the 100th game of his career.)

Quotable

“I feel like there was a momentum shift, in a good way, our last homestand. I think we’re headed in the right direction.” – Morton

Up next

The Braves and Mets finish their four-game series Wednesday night. The Braves recalled righty Kyle Wright from Triple-A to make his second start this season in place of Max Fried, who went on the 10-day injured list with a blister.