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NLDS Post-Season Game 1: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers

ATLANTA BRAVES (88-73, 1st NL East, +6.5 GA) at MILWAUKEE BREWERS (95-67, 1st NL Central, +5.0 GA)
RHP Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34) vs. RHP Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43)
National League Division Series Game 1
October 8, 2021 • 4:37 p.m. • American Family Field • Milwaukee, WI • TBS

ATLANTA BRAVES

TODAY’S GAME: The Braves and Brewers open their best-of-five National League Division Series today with Game 1 here in  Milwaukee…The clubs split six games during the regular season, with each team taking the series in the other team’s park.

• The Braves won two-of-three games here at American Family Field, May 14-16, before the Brewers won two-of-three, July 30-August  1 in Atlanta…The Braves outscored the Brewers, 34-26, in the six games.

• The Braves have not won the season series with Milwaukee since 2017, when they went 4-2 against the Brewers…They went 3-4 in 2018 and 3-3 in 2019.

• The Braves and Brewers have never met in the postseason…The last time the Braves played a playoff game in Milwaukee was 1958, when the organization was the Milwaukee Braves and lost Game 7 of the World Series at home to the New York Yankees…Overall, the Braves franchise is 4-3 in Milwaukee during the postseason…They went 2-1 at home to win the 1957 World Series in seven games over the Yankees, before going 2-2 in losing the rematch the next season.

• RHP Charlie Morton is 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA (23 ER/61.1 IP) in 13 career postseason games, 12 starts…The 37-year-old righty went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA (6 ER/20.0 IP) in four postseason starts for Tampa Bay last season, and this will mark Morton’s fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs… He was with Houston in 2017 and 2018, before helping Tampa Bay to consecutive berths in 2019 and 2020…Morton is 4-8 with a 4.15 ERA (39 ER/84.2 IP) in 16 career games, all starts, against the  Brewers.

• RHP Corbin Burnes is set to make his first career playoff start today, after the 26-year-old righty went 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA (2 ER/9.0 IP) in six postseason relief appearances…He earned the win in Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Colorado to send the Brewers to the championship series against Los Angeles.

21 IN ‘21: The Braves clinched the 21st division title in franchise history this season, beating Philadelphia, 5-3 on September 30 at Truist Park to win the National League East…The 21 division titles are the most in major league history, two more than New York (AL) and Los Angeles (NL)…This season also marks the franchise’s 27th postseason berth in the modern era and its fourth straight.

• The four straight division titles marks the longest streak in baseball…The Dodgers had won the NL West in eight straight seasons before finishing second to San Francisco this year.

• The Braves became the last National League team to clinch a playoff berth this season and the fifth division winner in baseball…Only  San Francisco had to wait longer to clinch their division.

THE POSTSEASON: This series will be the Braves’ 40th postseason matchup in franchise history…The Braves lost in the NLCS last season to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3…They are 89-96 (.481) all-time in the postseason, despite having outscored the opposition 739-715 (+24 run differential).

• The Braves have played in 16 division series (7-9), 12 league championship series (5-7), nine World Series (3-6), one wild card series (1-0), and one wild card game (0-1).

GAME 1: The Braves are set to play their 39th Game 1 of a playoff round today (that total does not include a wild card game loss in 2012), and are 18-20 in these games…They won the opener of all three rounds of the 2020 postseason to snap a nine-game losing streak in playoff series openers.

• They beat Cincinnati, 1-0, in 13 innings to open the 2020 postseason, before winning, 9-5, over Miami in the NLDS opener and 5-1 against Los Angeles to begin the NLCS.

• Prior to those wins, they lost nine straight series openers, starting with the 2001 NLCS vs. Arizona and running through the 2019 NLDS vs. St. Louis.

• The Braves are 13-5 (.722) in playoff series when they win Game 1 and 3-17 (.150) when they drop the opener.

• They last won a series when dropping Game 1 in 1999, when they lost, 6-1, vs. Houston in the NLDS before going on to win the next three games… They last lost a series when winning the opener last season, when they took Game 1 of the NLCS before losing in seven games to the Dodgers.

• The Braves were the road team for the NLCS last season, which was played at a neutral site (Globe Life Field in Texas)…The last time the Braves won a road Game 1 in the opponent’s home park was 2001, when they beat the Astros, 7-4, in Houston.

SERIES PLAY: The Braves played one five-game series this season, beating the Mets, three games-to-two, July 26-29.

• The Braves went 26-18-7 in series play this season, including 12-8-6 on the road and 14-10-1 at home.

ON THE ROAD: The Braves went 46-35 (.568) away from Truist Park this season, tied for the fifth-best road record in the  majors…Since 2018 and the start of this four-season playoff run, the Braves are the second-best road team in the majors with a mark of 156-117 (.571)… Only Los Angeles (NL) at .601 has been better over the last four seasons.

• The Braves won a franchise-record 13-straight road games, July 29-August 22, that included sweeping a nine-game road trip through Washington (three games), Miami (three games) and Baltimore (three games), August 13-August 22.

 

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher García’s Game Log Wisler’s Game Log
#50 Charlie Morton
RHP • 6-5 • 235 • 37 yrs
2021 Record: 14-6, 3.34 ERA • 2020 Record: 2-2, 4.74 ERA
2020 Postseason: 3-1, 2.70 ERA • Career Postseason: 7-3, 3.38 ERA
vs. RHB: .221 (79-357), 9 HR • vs. LHB: .183 (57-312), 7 HR

Today’s Game
• Set for his 13th career postseason start and his 14th overall playoff outing…Made four starts in the 2020 postseason last year.

• Is 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA (23 ER/61.1 IP) in his career in the postseason, including a 3-1 record and a 2.70 ERA (6 ER/20.0 IP) over four starts last year.

• In Game 7 of the 2020 ALCS vs. Houston, recorded his fourth career win in a “winner take all” game, extending his own major league record…Marked his fifth career win in a potential elimination game, breaking a tie with five other pitchers for the most in major league history

• Has made one career start in Game 1 of a playoff series, starting the 2019 AL Wild Card Game for Tampa Bay.

• Earned the win in that game, pitching 5.0 innings and allowing just five hits and one unearned run in the Rays’ win over Oakland, 5-1.

• Has faced the Brewers 16 times in his career, including once this season, and is 4-8 with a 4.15 ERA (39 ER/84.2 IP) versus Milwaukee…Prior to his start this season, had not faced the Brewers since 2016.

• Despite the four-year gap between appearances, he has faced just three other teams more often than the Brewers…Morton has made 19 starts against the Marlins and Cardinals, and 18 starts against the Reds.

• Took the loss in his start this season, August 1 at Truist Park, despite allowing just three hits and two runs over 6.0 innings…Did not walk a batter and struck out six in Atlanta’s 2-1 defeat.

• Morton made six starts over September and October, going 2-1 and pitching to a 2.60 ERA (10 ER/34.2 IP)…Enters today’s game riding a 9.2-inning scoreless streak over his last two starts.

• Morton struck out 35 batters over 34.2 innings in his last month, and struck out 216 batters on the season, sixth most in the NL and the second most he has ever fanned in a single season.

• This season marks the third 200-strikeout season of his career; he fanned a career-most 240 batters in 2019, and struck out 201 in 2018.

• He is the first Braves pitcher with a 200-strikeout season since Mike Foltynewicz fanned 202 in 2018…Morton’s final total is the most for an Atlanta starter since Javier Vazquez struck out 238 in 2009.

• Led the majors with 127 strikeouts recorded on the curveball…The next closest is Toronto’s José Berríos with 97…Since joining the Houston Astros prior to the 2017 season, Morton has logged 479 strikeouts via the curveball, also most in the majors and over 40 more than any other pitcher…Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola ranks second, with 438.

2021 Recap
• Played his 14th career major league season and pitched to a 14-6 record and a 3.34 ERA (69 ER/185.2 IP) over a career high-tying  33 starts…Struck out 216.

• NL Ranks: Starts (T1st, 33), Opponents Average (5th, .203), Wins (T5th, 14), Winning Percentage (T5th, .700), Strikeouts (6th, 216), Innings (T7th, 185.2), WHIP (8th, 1.04)

• The Braves on September 6 signed Morton to a one-year contract for the 2022 season, worth $20 million, with a $20 million club option for 2023 that does not include a buyout.

• The 6-foot-5, 215-pound native of Flemington, NJ, signed a one-year deal worth $15 million with the Braves this past offseason after helping the Tampa Bay Rays to the American League pennant in 2020.
• Earned his 100th victory, June 22 at New York-NL.

• Morton also earned his first career win while with Atlanta, June 14, 2008 at the Angels, in his major league debut…He became the first pitcher since the Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo in 2003 to earn their first and 100th wins with the same team, while earning wins elsewhere in between.

• Started on 4/9 vs. PHI, Atlanta’s home opener, and held the Phillies to four hits and one run over 6.0 innings to earn his first win of the year.

• The win was Morton’s first for Atlanta since he beat the Florida Marlins on August 28, 2008, a span of 4,607 days.

• Morton made his season debut, 4/3 at PHI, and returned to the Braves this offseason on a one-year contract worth $15 million… With his first start this season, Morton went 12 years, 194 days between Braves appearances.

• According to research from the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other Braves in the modern era (since 1900) had a gap of at least 12 years between appearances, with Bucky Walters’ 17-year, 302-day span the longest.

Career Recap
• A 14-year major league veteran, has compiled a 107-95 record and a 4.00 ERA (722 ER/1625.0 IP) across 292 games, 291 starts…Has fanned 1,492 and pitched a pair of shutouts.

• Has pitched for Atlanta (2008, ’21), Pittsburgh (2009-15), Philadelphia (2016), Houston (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-20).

 

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

TODAY’S GAME: Is Game 1 of the National League Division Series vs. Atlanta…..the Brewers and Braves are meeting in the postseason for the first time ever. NLDS Roster (bold indicates not on Opening Day roster):

PITCHERS (11) – LH Aaron Ashby, RH Brad Boxberger, RH Corbin Burnes, RH Jake Cousins, RH Jandel Gustave, LH Josh Hader, RH Adrian Houser, LH Eric Lauer, RH Freddy Peralta, RH Hunter Strickland, RH Brandon Woodruff

CATCHERS (3) – Luke Maile, Omar Narváez, Manny Piña

INFIELDERS (7) – Willy Adames, Eduardo Escobar, Jace Peterson, Rowdy Tellez, Luis Urías, Daniel Vogelbach, Kolten Wong…..OUTFIELDERS (5) – Jackie Bradley Jr., Lorenzo Cain, Avisaíl García, Tyrone Taylor, Christian Yelich

OPENING DAY ROSTER (bold indicates not on NLDS roster):

PITCHERS (12) – LH Brett Anderson, RH Corbin Burnes, RH J.P. Feyereisen, LH Josh Hader, RH Adrian Houser, RH Josh Lindblom, RH Freddy Peralta, RH Drew Rasmussen, LH Brent Suter, RH Devin Williams, RH Brandon Woodruff, RH Eric Yardley

CATCHERS (2) – Omar Narváez, Manny Piña

INFIELDERS (7) – Orlando Arcia, Keston Hiura, Daniel Robertson, Travis Shaw, Luis Urías, Daniel Vogelbach, Kolten Wong…..OUTFIELDERS (5) – Jackie Bradley Jr., Lorenzo Cain, Avisaíl García, Billy McKinney, Christian Yelich

IN THE TRAINER’S ROOM: RHP John Axford (right elbow), RHP John Curtiss (right elbow), INF/OF Mark Mathias (right shoulder), LHP Angel Perdomo (back) and RHP Justin Topa (right elbow) are on the 60-day injured list.

IN THE STANDINGS (186 days): The Brewers spent the following number of days alone or tied at each position in the NL Central standings in 2021: FIRST: 136, SECOND: 26,

THIRD: 20, FOURTH: 4, FIFTH: 0…..the team clinched a postseason berth on 9/18 and the NL Central championship on 9/26.

SERIES-LY SPEAKING: The Brewers went 32-17-3 in series play in 2021.
Game 1: 27-25, Game 2: 32-20, Game 3: 32-16, Game 4: 4-6
Sweep Wins (11): at San Diego (3g, 4/19-4/21), at Washington (3g, 5/29-5/30),
vs. Arizona (4g, 6/3-6/6), vs. Pittsburgh (3g, 6/11-6/13), vs. Colorado (3g, 6/25-6/27),
vs. Chicago-NL (3g, 6/28-6/30), at Cincinnati (3g, 7/16-7/18),
at Pittsburgh (3g, 7/27-7/29), at Chicago-NL (4g, 8/10-8/12),
at Cleveland (3g, 9/10-9/12), vs. New York-NL (3g, 9/24-9/26)
Sweep Losses (7): at Philadelphia (4g, 5/3-5/6), at Kansas City (2g, 5/18-5/19),
vs. Cincinnati (3g, 6/14-6/16), vs. Kansas City (2g, 7/20-7/21),
at Detroit (2g, 9/14-9/15), vs. St. Louis (4g, 9/20-9/23), at Los Angeles-NL (10/1-10/3)

AT HOME: The Brewers went 45-36 at home, going 14-10-2 in series play…..had season-high 7-game home winning streaks from 6/3-6/13 and 6/25-7/8…..had season-high 5-game home losing streaks from 7/9-7/21 and 9/19-9/23.

ON THE ROAD: The Brewers went 50-31 on the road, going 18-7-1 in series play…..had a season-high 8-game road winning streak from 7/7-7/30…..had a season-high 5-game road losing streak from 5/3-5/7…..their 50 road wins broke the franchise record set by the 1982 team (47-33).

ALL-STARS: The Brewers were represented at the All-Star Game by Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Freddy Peralta, Brandon Woodruff and Omar Narváez…..the five players selected tied a franchise record, all consecutively (also 2018 and 2019)…..it marked the first time in franchise history that the team had three or more pitchers selected.

MANAGER: Craig Counsell completed his seventh season as manager (529-479) and sixth full season…..only Phil Garner (563-617) has more wins as a manager in franchise history…..under Counsell, the Brewers have made the postseason in four consecutive years for the first time ever…..Counsell was named the 19th manager in franchise history on 5/4/15, replacing Ron Roenicke…..he is signed through 2023.

COACHES: Assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz (2nd season), hitting coach Andy Haines (3rd season), pitching coach Chris Hook (3rd season), bullpen coach Steve Karsay (3rd season), third base coach Jason Lane (6th season, 1st as 3B coach), associate pitching, catching and strategy coach Walker McKinven (2nd season) and bench coach Pat Murphy (6th season) all returned from the 2020 coaching staff…..first base coach Quintin Berry was new to the staff this season.

BREWERS vs. BRAVES
SUMMARY: Are 66-90 all-time,
including 3-3 this season…..the teams
are meeting in the postseason for the
first time ever…..the Braves called
Milwaukee home from 1953-65.
at MIL: Are 34-42 all-time, going
31-32 at American Family Field and
3-10 at County Stadium…..went 1-2
this season.
at ATL: Have gone 32-48 all-time,
going 4-7 at Truist Park and 27-41 at
Turner Field…..went 2-1 this season.

THE BREWERS WHEN…
Scoring First …………………………….. 66-24
Opponent Scores First……………. 29-43
Out-hitting Opponent ………………. 68-16
Out-hit by Opponent ………………… 12-46
Hit Totals Even ……………………………. 15-5
Committing An Error ………………. 35-30
Committing No Errors ………………60-37
Leading After 7 Innings ……………… 71-4
Trailing After 7 Innings ………………6-50
Tied After 7 Innings ……………………12-12
Leading After 8 Innings …………….. 76-1
Trailing After 8 Innings …………….. 5-56
Tied After 8 Innings ………………………8-8
Hitting a Home Run ………………….74-33
Not Hitting a Home Run ……………21-34
Scoring at Least 4 Runs …………..79-18
Scoring 3 Runs or Fewer ………… 16-49
vs. Right-Handed Starter ………..75-48
vs. Left-Handed Starter ………….. 20-19
Day Games ……………………………….. 40-24
Night Games …………………………….. 55-43
Decided In Last At-Bat ………………21-14
Walk-off Wins & Losses………………. 7-3
1-Run Games ……………………………….21-15
Extra Innings ………………………………..10-9
Come-From-Behind Wins………………40
Losses After Leading ……………………..32
Shutouts …………………………………….. 19-10
vs. NL Central…………………………….47-29
vs. NL East …………………………………..17-14
vs. NL West …………………………………23-12
Interleague …………………………………… 8-12
April …………………………………………….. 16-10
May ……………………………………………….13-15
June ………………………………………………. 19-8
July ……………………………………………… 14-10
August ………………………………………….. 19-9
September/October …………………..14-15

ALL-TIME RECORD (1969-2021)
WON – 4037 LOST – 4315 TIED – 4

ALL-TIME IN THE NL (1998-2021)
WON – 1837 LOST – 1948 TIED – 1

 

GAME 1 STARTER: #39 – RHP CORBIN BURNES (28gs, 11-5, 2.43)

BURNES AT A GLANCE: NL Cy Young Award candidate Corbin Burnes, 26, went 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 28 starts this season…..Burnes led the National League in ERA (2.43), K/9IP (12.61), K/BB (6.88) and HR/9IP (0.38) and was among the NL leaders in WHIP (2nd, 0.94), BB/9IP (2nd, 1.83), strikeouts (3rd, 234), batting average (4th, .201) and H/9IP (5th, 6.63)…..the team went 19-9 in his starts….. he made 18 quality starts…..opponents batted .201 (123-for-612, 7hr)…..he had 234 strikeouts – third in franchise history for a single season- compared to just 34 walks in 167.0 innings…..he was on the injured list (non-injury related) from 4/29-6/12…..Burnes was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Mary’s (CA) College.

KING CORBIN: Burnes, a first-time All-Star in 2021, began the season with 58 consecutive strikeouts before walking his first batter (Tommy Edman) on 5/13 vs. St. Louis…..his streak was the longest in the Major Leagues (since 1893) to begin a season…..the previous record was 51 strikeouts by reliever Kenley Jansen (2017 with LAD)…..Burnes also broke the overall record of 56 by Curt Schilling (2002 with Ari) and Gerrit Cole (2021 with NYY)…..Cole since reclaimed the record (61k)…..on 8/11 at Chicago-NL, Burnes tied the Major League record with 10 consecutive strikeouts – between the second and fifth innings – a mark he shares with the Mets’ Tom Seaver (4/22/70 vs. SD) and the Phillies’ Aaron Nola (6/25/21 at NYM)…..his 15 strikeouts rank second in franchise history for a single game, trailing only Ben Sheets (18 on 5/16/04 vs. Atl)…..on 9/11 at Cleveland, Burnes combined with Josh Hader on the second no-hitter in franchise history as the Brewers won, 3-0 (8ip, 0h, 1bb, 14k, 115 pitches)…..the only other no-hitter in franchise history was thrown by Juan Nieves on 4/15/87 at Baltimore…..Burnes recorded 8 starts of 9+ strikeouts without a walk this season, tying a Major League record shared with Curt Schilling (2002), Clayton Kershaw (2014) and Gerrit Cole (2019).

POSTSEASON CAREER: Is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 6 relief appearances, all coming during the 2018 postseason (9ip 4h, 2r, 2er, 1bb, 11k, 0hr).

CAREER: Is 23-11 with a 3.39 ERA in 102 games / 41 starts (313.2ip, 118er)…..is in his fourth MLB season (2018-21)…..is 15-8 with a 2.91 ERA as a starter (231.2ip, 75er).

CAREER AT AMERICAN FAMILY FIELD: Is 10-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 48 games / 21 starts (163ip, 68er)…..went 4-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 15 starts this season (88.1ip, 28er).

CAREER ON THE ROAD: Is 13-3 with a 2.99 ERA in 54 games / 20 starts (150.2ip, 50er)…..went 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA in 13 starts this season (78.2ip, 17er).

CAREER vs. BRAVES: Is 1-0 with an 18.90 ERA in 4 games / 1 start (6.2ip, 16h, 14r, 14er, 4bb, 9k, 5hr)…..each outing came in Atlanta…..his only start against the Braves came this season on 7/30 as he received no decision in a 9-5 win (4ip, 9h, 5r, 5er, 2bb, 6k, 1hr).

CAREER AT THE PLATE: Is a .169 (10-for-59) hitter with 4 RBI…..has not homered…..has 3 walks and 28 strikeouts…..has 6 sacrifice bunts.

2021 AT THE PLATE: Hit .154 (8-for-52) with 4 RBI…..had 3 walks and 26 strikeouts…..had 4 sacrifice bunts.

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