Astros’ duo of Morton & McCullers dominate, deliver World Series berth for Houston
Charlie Morton was emotionally ready to handle the pre sure of the most stre sful of all baseball games, a Game 7 winner-take-all contest in October.The right-hander proved that with his brilliant start on Saturday in a 4-0 win against the Yankees in the ALCS; he allowed only two hits in five scorele s innings that required only 54 pitches. Lance McCullers followed with four brilliant innings in relief, striking out six in four shutout innings.If I have the ball, with any opportunity of finishing the game, I’m emptying the gas tank every pitch and I’m just going Joaquin Benoit Jersey to keep going and going until they tell me otherwise, McCullers told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on the field after the game. I did not want to come out of that game. I can not say enough about this team. Unreal.MORE: World Series schedule, see when the Dodgers and Astros do battleThat 4-0 win means the Astros are heading to the World Series for only the second time in franchise history. They were swept by the White Sox in 2005.Here’s why it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that Morton was ready for the Game 7 mental test:This is the guy who started what is probably the single-most emotional regular-season game in Astros history.Shortly after Hurricane Harvey stopped dumping obscene amounts of rain on South Texas, the Astros came back home for a double-header against the Mets, on Sept. 2. Morton was Houston’s starter in the opening game of the twinbill; he went five innings and struck out nine while allowing a pair of runs. Houston ran out to a 10-2 lead before holding on for a 12-8 victory.After the win against the Mets, Morton talked about the situation in Houston.You want the game to lift people up. You want to do right for the city. You want to give something to look forward to and enjoy from the game, Morton said. But at the same time, the reality is that a lot of people are displaced. People don’t have water or food or a home, and it makes the game, parts of it, kind of trivial.”But at the same time, people look to their sports teams https://www.nationalsedges.com/washington-nationals/kevin-long-jersey in their cities in times like this, so for me, as much as I can do, in terms of baseball, I’m giving everything I have.Everything he had on Saturday night helped the Astros book their trip to the World Series.MORE: Three takeaways from Houston’s Game 7 winSo why did he only go five innings, you might ask. That would have never happento, you might say, Bob Gibson or Nolan Ryan. And, true: Morton was only at 54 pitches https://www.nationalsedges.com/washington-nationals/bryce-harper-jersey , which is incredibly efficient for five shutout innings.But here’s the logic: Chase Headley, the Yankees’ No. 9 hitter, was the final out of the fifth inning. Morton’s numbers against a lineup the first and second times through are much, much better that his numbers the third time he sees hitters in the game.Clearly, they had a very good second option ready to go in McCullers.Also, Morton’s fifth inning wasn’t exactly crisp. He gave up a double and a walk, and he would have given up at least one run if not for Alex Bregman’s perfect throw and Brian McCann’s perfect catch/tag at home plate, a combo that nailed Greg Bird. That run would have tied the game.So in came McCullers, the 23-year-old who had pitched six brilliant innings against the Yankees in Game 4 of this series. He finished the game by going to his best pitch a nasty curveball over and over and over. In fact, his final 28 pitches of the game were curveballs, and he used those pitches to retire the final six batters he faced.Not a bad way to clinch a World Series berth.This city, man, McCullers said. They deserve this. This is awesome.