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Charlie Morton is not afraid of the Astros

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“I know those guys”

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Down two games in a five game series as the Astros come toTropicana Field, the Rays will hand the ball to the pitcher who got them through the Wild Card game: former Astros star Charlie Morton.

Asked yesterday about facing his friends and former teammates, Morton was as even- keeled as ever.

Because you’re facing guys that you’re close with, you went through a lot with. And I guess that you know what they’re capable of.

And that knowledge takes all the mystery away.

I mean, you play teams like the Astros — the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Dodgers — and there’s that mystique about them. You know that those teams are really good.

For me, there’s really no mystery with the Astros. It’s just kind of they are who they are to me. I mean, I know those guys pretty well, on and off the field. I’m well aware of the challenges that they present. And I know what they’re made of.

I’m just going to go out there and make pitches and try to make pitches and challenge them.

Not that anything is going to be easy. The Rays are still staring down the barrel of what might be the best team in baseball, a team whose third starter is Zack Greinke. As a team the Rays are facing a second elimination playoff game in a week. But is there anyone else you’d rather have on the mound than CFM?

Morton seems to appreciate the moment as much as we might his number coming up at the right time for the Rays:

We got our backs to the wall a little bit here. So for me to get the opportunity to go out and try to get some quality innings, give our team a chance to win, yeah, I mean, these games are special when a lot’s on the line.

Probably some of the more memorable moments in baseball I’ll ever have are games I’ve pitched in the playoffs. This is a great opportunity for us, show what we’re made of, go out there against a big challenge here and see what we got.