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ALDS 2014: Bud Norris now scheduled to start Game 3 for the Orioles

Bud Norris, originally expected to start Game 4 of the ALDS, has been moved up to Game 3. There is no immediate word on whether something with Miguel Gonzalez prompted the change.

Jim McIsaac

The Orioles have thrown a curveball on a day where they aren't even playing a game. Originally, Miguel Gonzalez was slated to start Game 3 of the ALDS against the Tigers. That has been changed to Bud Norris, who was believed to be in line for Game 4 previously.

In the way that occasionally happens to beat reporters, the news broke after a press release. One postseason custom is that the next day's starting pitcher will give an interview. When MLB sent out the release announcing the schedule of interviews for the afternoon, Sunday's Game 3 starter was listed as Norris instead of the expected Gonzalez. Surprise!

Whether this change was made due to injury, a re-thinking of strategy, or some deep level of gamesmanship is not yet known. It's not outrageous to think that O's manager Buck Showalter could have reconsidered having Norris scheduled to start Game 4 now that he knows that it will be played at either 12:07 or 1:37. Norris has a 5.57 ERA in day games. Is a 3:45 start time (Game 3's scheduled start) so much better in this regard? A great question for which I have no answer.

Gonzalez also had worse results in the day, but far less pronounced of a difference. His day ERA was 3.80 compared to a night ERA of 2.79.

UPDATE 1:25pm: Gonzalez is not injured and was told that he'll be the Game 4 starter, if necessary, according to the Baltimore beat reporters.

Given the layoff between the end of the regular season and when these later game starting pitchers are going to pitch, it's not very likely that a question of rest is what would prompt a change. Gonzalez started the regular season finale, while Norris last started a game on September 24. One day in either direction probably doesn't matter too much to either of these guys.

Showalter is expected to address the matter during his own media availability later on Saturday. One way or another, here's hoping that these pitchers between the two of them help to end the series in Detroit.