Braves starter Charlie Morton, dominant playoff artist, has one relevant motivator: Fear – The Athletic


To be clear, Charlie Morton derives a lot of satisfaction from being tasked with starting a particularly meaningful game, such as a winner’s playoff game, and delivering a dominant performance that helps his team win a title or take a step forward. that Sens. direction.

It’s just that the good feeling he gets from those successful missions isn’t as strong as the misery Morton feels when he stumbles in a big game, which is rare but has happened to the 37-year-old pitcher.

“The possibility of letting your team down in the greatest moments of the season is always there, and I hate that,” said Morton, who has mentioned more than once this year that being a good teammate and developing relationships in the clubhouse is as important to him as everything that happens on the pitch. “That’s my least favorite thing about baseball, it’s the feeling of letting someone down. The idea of ​​having let down a team, an organization, a fan base, it gnaws at me – even in regular season games, but certainly in the playoffs.

“So this threat definitely makes it… it’s like a very visceral experience.”

This feeling is something he never forgets. That leads Morton, who will start for the Braves in Friday’s Divisional Series opener in Milwaukee, his first playoff start since his rare stumble in the big game in last year’s World Series for Tampa. Bay.

Yes, the most successful pitcher in the playoffs of the past half-decade is driven by the fear of failure, like many of us. Although Morton explains it in a different way and, Charlie being Charlie, more thoughtful.

Consider his response when I asked him on Saturday if he enjoys pitching in the playoffs.

“I do. I love him and I hate him,” said Morton, who is 7-3 with a 3.

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