Brian Snitker isn’t planning on leaving any bullets in the chamber. The Atlanta Braves are bringing back Charlie Morton for Game 4 as they attempt to eliminate the Milwaukee Brewers and advance to the NLCS for the second straight year. Brian Snitker told reporters Tuesday that they spoke with Morton Monday and he confirmed that he felt good physically so they decided to go with it.
“We talked to Charlie yesterday and he’s great with it,” Snitker said of the decision. “I wanted to make sure he was great with it physically. He went out, threw the ball around yesterday, felt good. So I said, go for it.”
Morton hasn’t started on short rest since his rookie season but did make a relief appearance in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series where he tossed four innings to close it out. Snitker said that the team won’t approach this as a normal outing and will probably check in with Morton every inning to see how he is feeling.
“Probably keep up with him the entire time, every time he comes in, see where he’s at,” Snitker said. “I told him, there’s no expectations here, just get this thing started and get it off the ground, see where it takes us.”
Atlanta will have plenty of options including Huascar Ynoa and A.J. Minter to help get through the middle innings if needed.
Going with Morton is a worthy gamble considering that they would have Max Fried on full rest lined up to start a potential Game 5 back in Milwaukee against Corbin Burnes. Still, that is a situation that they would like to avoid at all costs.
Snitker said that Morton limited the amount of work he had done on the side since he knew that coming back on short rest was a possibility.
“He limited all that just with this in mind. He knew this was a possibility,” Snitker said. “He just played some catch. I don’t think he threw a side. Which they don’t need to do that right now.”
“There’s no big expectation for Charlie. I say just get it off the ground, see where we go.”
Joc Pederson’s big home run in Game 3 was enough to get him a start in Game 4. He will play left field and hit sixth in place of Eddie Rosario who will come off the bench. Snitker said that he made that decision following Monday’s win.
“I did last night after the game. It’s just almost like it’s too real now to not get him in there, really,” Snitker said. “I was on the fence yesterday, actually, I just thought now it’s time and I’m going to get him in there, get him four at-bats.”