The season is over for Atlanta pitcher Charlie Morton, a master of the postseason.
Morton, who was struck by a comebacker in the second inning off Yuli Gurriel’s bat, fractured his right fibula on the play, the team announced Tuesday night. Morton, the team said, is expected to return for spring training in 2022.
Morton, 37, was making the 16th postseason start of a career studded with more victories in winner-take-all showdowns than any pitcher in major league history. During this Atlanta playoff run, he has been the anchor of the rotation, starting Games 1 and 4 of a division series against Milwaukee and Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And he has thrown postseason gems against Houston in the past: a 3-0 record with an E.R.A. of just 0.57. Two of those wins came in 2020, when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.
On Tuesday night in Houston, he threw two and one-third innings, giving up one hit and no runs. He walked two and struck out three.
Incredibly, Morton got three more outs after sustaining a broken leg: a strikeout of Chas McCormick and a line out by Martin Maldonado to end the second, and a strikeout of Jose Altuve for the first out in the bottom of the third.
With Morton out, the Braves will be allowed to add another pitcher to their roster.