The Atlanta Braves Just Added a Former All-Star and World Series Champion
The Atlanta Braves had an impressive 2020 season. They advanced to the NLCS and lost to the eventual World Series champions, the LA Dodgers, in seven games. The Braves were one of the hottest teams throughout the playoffs and were one game away from advancing to the World Series.
Atlanta is already making moves in the offseason. The team recently announced that they added Charlie Morton for the 2021 season. Morton will help the pitching rotation significantly as the Braves will look to make another deep run in the playoffs.
The Atlanta Braves were one of the top teams in the MLB in 2020
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Even though the 2020 MLB season was condensed to 60 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlanta Braves took advantage of the shortened season. The Braves were coming off an impressive 2019 season where they finished first in the NL East with a 97-65 record. They ended up losing in the NL Division Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. Going into the 2020 season, the Braves looked to capitalize on the success of the previous season.
At the end of the regular season, the Braves finished with a 35-25 record and finished first in the NL East again. Going into the playoffs, the Braves had a lot of momentum. The Braves did not lose a game in the first two series as they swept the Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins. With a trip to the World Series on the line, the only team standing in the way of the Braves was the Dodgers.
The Braves won the first two games of the NLCS to take an early 2-0 lead against the Dodgers. It seemed as if everything was going right for the Braves, and they were playing their best baseball at the perfect time. Heading into Game 5 of the series, the Braves had a 3-1 series lead and were one win away from the World Series. But the Braves could not finish the job and lost the next three games as the Dodgers advanced to the World Series.
The Atlanta Braves have added a pitcher who has had success during his career
According to ESPN, the Braves announced that Morton signed a one-year, $15 million deal. Morton returns to the team that drafted him in 2002. He made his MLB debut with the Braves during the 2008 season and finished with a 4-8 record. After spending one season with the Braves, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Morton spent eight seasons with the Pirates and was on the move again as he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015. He spent one season with the Phillies and then signed with the Houston Astros. Morton had a lot of success in his two seasons with the Astros. In 2017, he finished the season with a 14-7 record and was a part of the Astros team that won the World Series. The next season he continued to succeed as he made the All-Star team for the first time in his career. He finished the 2018 season with a 15-3 record.
Charlie Morton helped lead the Tampa Rays to the World Series
When Morton joined the Rays in 2018, he continued to have success on the mound. He immediately became one of the top pitchers in the starting rotation as he made his second consecutive All-Star. He finished the season with a 16-6 record. Morton set a career-high in wins that season.
Morton appeared in nine games during the 2020 shortened season and finished with a 2-2- record. He pitched well in the playoffs. In the ALDS, he made one appearance against the New York Yankees as he secured the win in Game 3, throwing five innings while striking out six batters. He put together an impressive performance during the ALCS against the Astros as he made two appearances during the series, winning both games.
Morton had a 3-0 record in the playoffs, and he made one appearance during the World Series losing Game 3. Even though the Rays lost in the World Series, they made a tremendous run, and Morton played a significant role throughout the playoffs. The Braves will have an experienced and high-level pitcher in their rotation who can help the team in a big way.