Orioles @ Rangers lineups and game notes - June 4

Mike McGinnis

Bud Norris takes the pill for the O's in an attempt to win their fourth game in a row and take the series from the Rangers. Texas will counter with rookie right-hander Nick Martinez.

These boys sure love to streak on that baseball field. Ok, you know what I mean. they have rebounded from losing four in a row, between Milwaukee and Houston, to becoming winners of three in a row last night in Texas. The Orioles will look to their headline-making right-hander to keep the train rolling.

Pitchers

RHP Nick Martinez, Texas

2014 stats: 10 G, 5 GS, 1-1, 2.75 ERA. 39.1 IP, 4 HR, 17 BB, 20 SO, .282 BAA, 1.50 WHIP
Last start (@Minnesota): 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 2 SO, ND

Pitch Selection in 2014 (Fangraphs)

Pitch Type Usage Velocity
Fastball 66.4% 91.1
Slider 15.2% 84.6
Curveball 7.2% 76.5
Change-up 11.2% 82.1

The rookie right-hander looks to have had a lucky start to the year. For a starter, his batting average against is pretty huge at .282. Add to that the fact that he has walked and struck out nearly the same number of people and you can see why both his FIP (4.66) and xFIP (5.30) are much larger than his ERA (2.75).

He is only ringing up 4.58 per nine innings and gives up nearly one home run per nine as well. These are likely just growing pains. Martinez has been on a pretty accelerated track since being drafted and never even got to throw an inning at Triple-A.

This is where things are for the Rangers in the pitching department. It seems that everyone except for Yu Darvish is hurt. The Orioles offense needs to continue to take advantage and put up big numbers against these lesser arms.

RHP Bud Norris, Baltimore

2014 stats: 10 G, 3-5, 4.04 ERA, 62.1 IP, 7 HR, 20 BB, 40 SO, .238 BAA, 1.19 WHIP
Last start (@ Milwaukee): 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 SO, L

Bud oh, Bud! It is difficult to decide whether to be excited or scared when Norris pitches. At times he has looked like the best arm on the staff. No matter what, he is a gamer, bringing some fire and chutzpah to the mound. Other times, he is the one on the chopping block should the Orioles bring in a new pitcher.

His last two times out, he has suffered from the same disease that plagues Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez regularly. It seems as if they are allergic to the seventh inning. Or perhaps, they forget to set the DVR to record "Cosmos". I mean, it is interesting.

This Texas lineup isn't as scary as it once was. Especially now that Nellie is in orange and black. And the Orioles are on a roll. One bleak spot, especially as of late, has been how often the bullpen has to get nine or more outs. Norris needs to regain the form he had just a few weeks ago and preserve the arms of Britton, O'Day and company.

Lineups

Orioles (w/ stats against right-handed pitching in 2014)

RF Nick Markakis (L) .296 BA, 9 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 17 BB, 17 SO
3B Manny Machado (R) .250 BA, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 BB, 13 SO
DH Nelson Cruz (R) .296 BA, 8 2B, 17 HR, 12 BB, 41 SO
CF Adam Jones (R) .240 BA, 4 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 1 BB, 44 SO
1B Chris Davis (L) .212 BA, 4 2B, 5 HR, 22 BB, 37 SO
SS J.J. Hardy (R) .319 BA, 9 2B, 3 BB, 26 SO
2B Jonathan Schoop (R) .256 BA, 7 2B, 5 HR, 2 BB, 30 SO
LF David Lough (L) .193 BA, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 19 SO
C Caleb Joseph (R) .091 BA, 1 2B, 3 BB, 3 SO

This will be the lots first ups against Martinez. So, there isn't a whole lot to go on. Most of the lineup does fare better against righties. However, Jones has seemed to struggle. He is crushing southpaws but has not had the same success with guys coming from the right side. Tonight feels like the night Hardy homers.

Rangers (w/ career stats against Norris)

LF Shin-Soo Choo (L) none
SS Luis Sardinas (S) none
1B Mitch Moreland (L) 0-for-2, 1 SO
DH Adrian Beltre (R) 0-for-3
RF Alex Rios (R) 2-for-3, .667 BA, 1 2B
3B Donnie Murphy (R) 0-for-4
CF Leonys Martin (L) 0-for-2, 1 SO
C Robinson Chirinos (R) none
2B Rougned Odor (L) none

Wow, so those are some small sample sizes, if they even have a sample. The Rangers are hurting with a couple of their offensive guns out for extended periods of time. Be smart here, Bud. Don't give Adrian Beltre anything great to hit and do not walk anyone. We should be juuuuust fine.

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