Game 104, Orioles at Mariners

marc w · July 26, 2014 at 12:55 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Chris Young vs. Bud Norris, 1:10pm

Well that was frustrating. The M’s made Kevin Gausman look incredible, and they couldn’t convert several chances to knock a run in, forcing the game to extra innings. Kendrys Morales had the M’s sole RBI, but a late game K against lefty Brian Matusz left a sour taste; he’s still looking a bit rusty, and it’s basically August.

Today’s match up features Bud Norris, the Astros big trade chip last year. With Houston, he posted above-average strikeout numbers, but his overall RA9 was never all that impressive. Some of this came from the fact that he was pitching in front of a glorified AAA team for the past several years, and some of it comes from his park-driven home run problems. But as a guy with solid fastball velocity and a good slider, he was always going to be an intriguing buy for some team. In the end, the Orioles got him for LJ Hoes and Josh Hader, though the trade will probably be remembered as one of the first baseball deals involving draft picks. The Astros picked up the Orioles #3 pick in the competitive balance lottery (Houston selected UVA OF Derek Fisher), and traded international draft pool allocation money to even things out a bit.

With the Orioles, Norris is suddenly throwing much harder; his four-seam velocity is up to 94.5, two full MPH over where he was in 2012. But this hasn’t actually helped his K rate, which has tumbled this year to 17.3% – it was 22.5% in 2012. The culprit is Norris’ slider, which he throws a lot. To righties, he throws nearly 40% sliders, mixing in a very rare change. He’ll throw the change-up more often to lefties, as you’d imagine, but he still throws the slider over 20% of his pitches – pitch-type platoon splits be damned. Overall, Norris has struggled against lefties – the wOBA gap is pretty severe, and the FIP splits are perhaps even larger, at over one full run per 9IP. This year, though, he’s not shown any. That may be a blip, but it’s a big reason his ERA/RA9 is suddenly average-to-good, while his strikeout rate and HR rate push his FIP over 4.5. There’s a lot of BABIP in his solid results, but it really does look like the Orioles have changed his approach. He’s pitching to contact more, which has helped push his walk rate down along with the K’s. The FIP suggests it might not be worth it, but for now, the Orioles have to be happy with the deal. It’s not exactly the Astros dumping JD Martinez for nothing, but it’s perhaps another example that the Astros vaunted process has its flaws.

1: Jones, CF
2: Ackley, LF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Hart, RF
7: Morrison, 1B
8: Miller, SS
9: Sucre, C
SP: Young

Go M’s.


62 Responses to “Game 104, Orioles at Mariners”

  1. msfanmike on July 26th, 2014 3:55 pm

    That’s better. Don’t let it happen again.

  2. msfanmike on July 26th, 2014 3:55 pm

    I only kid because I care

  3. Eastside Suds on July 26th, 2014 3:56 pm

    Problem was, he held him to early. Why slow a guy down coming to third when the ball hasn’t been touched by the outfielder yet? That is incorrect procedure for any coach at any level.

  4. Eastside Suds on July 26th, 2014 3:57 pm

    And, I take it because I know how much you care Mike!

  5. Eastside Suds on July 26th, 2014 4:00 pm

    Deep breaths

  6. msfanmike on July 26th, 2014 4:00 pm


  7. Eastside Suds on July 26th, 2014 4:00 pm

    Finally. Wow.

  8. Westside guy on July 26th, 2014 4:01 pm

    How does anyone “slow down” Kendrys Morales? 😉

  9. Westside guy on July 26th, 2014 4:01 pm


  10. pgreyy on July 26th, 2014 4:01 pm

    Well…THAT’S one way to finish off a game…

  11. msfanmike on July 26th, 2014 4:01 pm

    No replay review? Why not … He was out by fewer than 20′

  12. msfanmike on July 26th, 2014 4:06 pm

    I think Hargrove Sexton could probably slow down a Kendrys Morales. The mariners must find such a person.

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