All indications from manager Buck Showalter were that Miguel Gonzalez was going to be the starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles in game three of their ALDS series against the Detroit Tigers. On Saturday, Showalter announced that RHP Bud Norris would get the call instead. It turned out to be a smart move by the veteran Baltimore skipper.

Norris was outstanding as he outdueled former CY Young Award winner David Price and helped the Birds edge the Tigers 2-1 to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 1997.

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He was bringing the heat with a mid-90’s fastball and only allowed two hits in 6.1 IP. Norris walked two and struck out six while throwing an even 100 pitches.

When the Orioles acquired Norris from the Houston Astros last July, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed with the move. Norris was a decent pitcher for Houston but, didn’t remind anyone of Nolan Ryan.

For the Orioles in 2014, Norris has been a very important part of a rotation that still doesn’t seem to get the respect it deserves. He posted a career high in wins (15-8) and a career low in ERA (3.65).

On Sunday at Comerica Park, Norris held the American League’s highest scoring team scoreless and left the rest to lefty relievers Andrew Miller and Zach Britton.

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Nelson Cruz provided the offense with a two-run homer off Price in the sixth inning. Cruz has been a dominant Postseason player for many years and he continues to mash for the Birds.

Cruz is the Baltimore MVP and deservedly so.

However, the starting rotation of the Baltimore Orioles has been getting it done the entire summer. As we have now reached fall, they are being asked to deliver more.

Bud Norris delivered in Detroit. Delivered in a big way.


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