The World Series champion Houston Astros celebrate their first title in franchise history. Houston residents have gone through a lot recently with the hurricane, but their hometown Astros have brought smiles and joy to the city after winning it all. The team has a lot of players to thank, including some unlikely heroes. One of their biggest contributors on the mound was veteran right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton (33) signed with the Astros before the 2017 season after spending many years with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2009-2015. Morton has had a career of ups and downs, and he only played in four MLB games last year with the Phillies.

While a guy like Morton has gone over the heads of many baseball fans over the years, his performance in the World Series will be part of history forever.

World Series performance

Morton's great World Series tale begins with the clinching of the American League Pennant. He got the start in game seven against CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees. Morton threw five scoreless innings, struck out five, and only surrendered two hits to the high-powered Yankees in a 4-0 win. It was the first time in his career that he got the win in a clinching postseason game, and only his fourth career postseason start in ten years of MLB service.

In the World Series, Morton made one start and one relief appearance.

In total he pitched 10.1 World Series innings and pitched to a 1.74 ERA and 0.581 WHIP with 11 strikeouts. His shining moment was in game seven when he finished the final four innings and only gave up one run in the sixth inning. He had his fastball working in the upper-90s and got great movement on his breaking ball as he retired 11 consecutive batters after an Andre Ethier RBI single.

Morton got Corey Seager to ground out to second to end the game and clinch the world title.

An emotional Morton talked to ESPN on the field after the game, saying, "So I'd never done this [coming out of pen while team is ahead] before, but that was a lot of fun."

Morton's long ride

Charlie Morton broke into the majors in 2008 with the Braves.

He then spent seven seasons with the Pirates organization. In his first five seasons (89 games) he posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.557 WHIP. In 2013-2014 he pitched to a 3.52 ERA in 46 starts and seemed to be finally coming around. Unfortunately, he battled injury issues with his hip late in 2014 and ended up only starting 27 games over the next two seasons between the Pirates and Phillies.

Not only is Morton now a World Champion, he also had a solid 2017 regular season with the Astros. He won a career-high 14 games and pitched to a 3.62 ERA, 1.193 WHIP and personal best 163 strikeouts in 25 starts. Morton deserves a lot of credit for his effort in the World Series and his journey is a good story to tell.