Morton, who will start Game 4 of the American League Championship Series for the Astros, their best defense against a 3-1 deficit in this series, is one of the top starters in baseball’s best rotation. He is 34 years old, and a little more than a year ago he stood on the mound in Dodger Stadium after getting the last out of the World Series. His deliberative nature seems to stem from two competing facts: 1) he still can’t quite believe his good fortune, and; 2) he hasn’t fully come to terms with how long it took to realize it.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping
Rare among athletes and even rarer among pitchers, Morton found his greatest professional success at a time when it was least expected. His career has been marked by a series of career-altering injuries — two hip surgeries, elbow surgery, hamstring and shoulder issues — and a lingering sense that his talent would remain forever unfinished.
“It’s kind of frustrating in a way,” he says. “I’ve always been told I have good stuff. I’ve always been told I could be really, really good, but I was always just average. And here I am, 34 going on 35, having figured a lot of things out, and I don’t know how much longer I want to play. And that’s fine. It’s fine, really it is. I’ve had a rewarding career. I’ve experienced a lot — a lot of ups and downs, and the downs have been as fulfilling to me as the good things.
“I don’t regret the struggles. I’ll say this: It’s nice to know that if I reach my physical potential with the repertoire and methodology of the way I’m pitching, that I can be good. I can do the things I want to do, and I know that now.”
He was an All Star for the first time this season, and his 15-3 record gave him the best winning percentage in baseball. (Do wins matter? Your mileage may vary.) He had a career-best WAR of 3.2 and a career-best WHIP of 1.17. Along with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, he was part of just the fifth trio in MLB history to each record 200 strikeouts.china nike nfl jerseys cheap
Despite all of that, there’s a chance Morton might decide to leave the game after this season to devote more time to his wife, Cindy, and their four children, the oldest of whom is 5. (They went boy-girl-boy-girl, like a good pitch sequence, and fellow Astros are astounded by the couple’s insistence on raising their children without outside help — in other words, no nanny — even though they can obviously afford it.) He will be one of the most desirable starters on the free-agent market this offseason, and this is his last great chance to sign a two- or three-year contract that sets up generations of his family for life.
His teammates tell him they understand if he’s ready to hang them up. Dallas Keuchel says, “I get it, and I respect him for it, but I tell him: ‘Man, you could be looking at $20 million a year.'” Keuchel places his palms in front of his body and raises them up and down — the scales of justice, in Keuchel’s hands, inevitably land on the side of the $20 million a year. But in deference to his friend, he says, “It’s a tough call.”