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Rays-Astros: A pair of Charlie Morton pitches have Twitter buzzing

A Charlie Morton fastball and curveball in Monday’s Game 3 are turning Twitter on its head.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Houston Astros for Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]
Published Oct. 7, 2019
Updated Oct. 7, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG - With the Rays facing elimination, Charlie Morton got the start in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, the first home playoff game at Tropicana Field since 2013.

And through four innings, Morton’s offerings broke Houston bats and sent the Twitter world into a frenzy.

Rob Friedman, affectionately known on Twitter as “Pitching Ninja," slowed down a Charlie Morton fastball and curveball, then overlayed the images into one video.

The video shows Morton’s 94 mph fastball start to left before breaking horizontally to the right. His 80 mph curveball breaks down and to the left, crossing paths with the fastball.

The video, posted at 2:03 p.m. on Monday, had over 5,000 likes and 1,300 retweets within an hour of posting. It induced a flurry of reactions across the social media site.

“That’s not late break, that’s magic,” responded Nathan Kinnaird.

Another Twitter user responded with a gif of Hagrid, the half-giant from the Harry Potter series, saying “You’re a wizard.”

Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account responded with an emoji head exploding, perfectly capturing the mind-blowing pitches.

Pitch pairings like this remind viewers how difficult it is to hit major-league pitching. So the next time you wonder why your favorite big leaguer swung at a ball in the dirt, remember this is what they’re up against.

Morton finished his day with nine strikeouts over five innings of one-run ball.

Contact Ryan Kolakowski at rkolakowski@tampabay.com. Follow @ryankolakowski

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