Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton will miss the rest of the World Series after leaving Game 1 with a fractured bone in his leg, according to his team.
Morton left the game in the bottom of the third inning after throwing 44 pitches in Houston. The Braves were leading 5-0 when Morton struck out Astros leadoff hitter Jose Altuve with a curve. On his delivery, Morton almost went to the ground and came up with a limp.
Despite the setback, the Braves went on to win the game 6-2. AJ Minter, who replaced Morton, held the Astros to three hits and one run over 2 and 2/3 innings in a strong bullpen performance.
As for Morton, the Braves said he underwent X-rays that revealed a right fibula fracture. “He will miss the remainder of the World Series and is expected to be ready for Spring Training in 2022,” the team tweeted.
According to MLB.com, the damage was done in the second inning when Morton was hit in the outside right calf by a 102.4 mph batted ball from Yuli Gurriel.
Braves Manager Brian Snitker explained after the game that Morton had his leg X-rayed between innings after he was hit.
“He wanted to keep going because he was down in the tunnel and he was throwing against the wall,”Snitker explained, saying the pitcher said it hurt when he ran, but felt good when he was throwing. “Then obviously, it didn’t,”Snitker added.
Morton threw 16 pitches after the blow and got three more outs before he was forced to leave. A second X-ray revealed the fracture.
“He’s such a great person, great person and teammate,” Snitker said. “I do, I really hate it for him because I know he’s really looking forward to this run with us.”
The fibula is a bone in the lower leg on the outside of the tibia.
“The fibula is much smaller and thinner than the tibia. It is located just behind the tibial head at the knee joint and then runs down the lateral aspect of the leg until it reaches the ankle joint,” the National Institutes of Health says.
Earlier, history was made as Atlanta outfielder Jorge Soler became the first player to hit a home run in the first plate appearance. Soler was the designated hitter and he crushed the third pitch from Houston starter Framber Valdez.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday in Houston’s Minute Maid Park.