Now, on Tuesday, Morton will return to the Minute Maid Park mound yet again. He’s been paramount in the Braves’ surge to this stage. Morton is their only starter who avoided the injured list. He provided steadiness, leadership and experience.
“He makes a big impact everywhere he goes,” first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “Special person. If you have a 14-pronged fork, he’s been on every single road, and it took him a little bit longer than I’m sure he wanted to figure out the success, but when he got here, he figured it out. He’s taken that and run with it. He’s become, in my opinion, the best big game pitcher there is in this sport, and we’ve got him going Game 1. That’s huge for us.”
The Braves can flip the series in their favor if they take one of the first two games in Houston. With Morton starting Game 1, they’ll like their odds.
For Morton, it will be an emotional day, even if he can’t convey what he expects to feel.
“Being back here in Houston, having played with a few of those guys over there, gone through a lot with some of those guys over there, and then obviously the stage we’re on here, those are all things I’m well aware of,” Morton said. “I’m sure I’m going to feel some things when I get on that mound. I don’t think there’s any way not to.”