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Orioles @ Angels lineups and game notes - July 21

Bud Norris makes his return from Bowie to take the mound for the O's in the first match of a three-game set in Anaheim. The Halos counter with rookie right-hander Matt Shoemaker.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Many have spoke about how important this West Coast swing is for the Orioles. Thus far, the team is 1-2. They need a series win in Anaheim to get back on track to that magical ".500" number everyone seems to think they need to achieve on this road trip to run away with the division.


RHP Matt Shoemaker, Los Angels of Anaheim

2014 stats: 15 G, 9 GS, 7-2, 4.38 ERA, 63.2 IP, 70 H, 9 HR, 15 BB, 62 SO, .281 BAA, 1.34 WHIP
Last start (July 3 vs. Houston): 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 7 SO, 2 ER, W

Pitch Type Usage Velocity
Fastball 50.5% 90.8
Slider 16.0% 81.7
Curveball 12.9% 76.3
Split-Finger 20.7% 84.3

The rookie was a relative unknown entering the year. He topped out as the Angels number 27 prospect, according to Baseball America, back in 2011. The same year he received the honor of being the pitcher with the best control in all of the Texas League. Apart from that, he had a pedestrian minor league career, which shows why he is just now making it to the bigs as a 27-,soon to be 28, year-old.

His reputation of control has followed him to the Angels along with the soft-tossing type stuff you would expect from a low-walk guy. However, he has somehow found a way to strike out major league hitters in a way he rarely did down on the farm, including a 10 strikeout performance over the Indians in mid-June.

The secret weapon is that split-finger that he has mastered. His arm action looks just like his four-seamer but it has enough late dip and change in speeds to get guys out on their front foot.

RHP Bud Norris, Baltimore

2014 stats: 15 G, 7-6, 3.96 ERA, 91.0 IP, 79 H, 12 HR, 19 BB, 62 SO, .237 BAA, 1.19 WHIP
Last start (July 9 vs. Washington): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 SO, 5 ER, L

Norris, who once looked like the best pitcher on the Baltimore staff, has fallen on hard times as of late. His last start before the break was a disappointing one in which he only lasted four innings against the Oriole's mid-Atlantic rival. After that he went to Bowie to stay on a regular rotation and tossed only four and one-third innings of three run ball, walking five.

Tonight he faces the highest scoring team in all of baseball. A team he has pitched against on four other occasions. In those chances he is 3-0 with a 0.32 ERA in 28 innings. The last time he matched up with them he was still a member of the Houston Astros. He went seven strong and allowed only one run; unearned, but he took the no decision.



RF Nick Markakis (L)
LF Steve Pearce (R)
CF Adam Jones (R)
DH Nelson Cruz (R)
1B Chris Davis (L)
SS J.J. Hardy (R)
3B Manny Machado (R)
C Nick Hundley (R)
2B Jonathan Schoop (R)

No one on the team has ever faced Shoemaker. So, there's that. Those numbers usually don't give too much of an indication anyway. On the flip side, Norris has dominated the Angels lineup to the tune of an ERA under 1. I don't expect that to hold up either. We shall see.

Angels (w/ career stats against Norris)

RF Kole Calhoun (L) none
CF Mike Trout (R) 5-for-12, .417 BA, 3 2B, 1 BB, 3 SO
1B Albert Pujols (R) 7-for-36, .194 BA, 3 2B, 5 BB, 4 SO
DH Josh Hamilton (L) 4-for-12, .333 BA, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 SO
2B Howie Kendrick (R) 1-for-11, .091 BA, 1 BB, 3 SO
3B David Freese (R) 7-for-18, .389 BA, 2 2B, 2 BB, 7 SO
LF Efren Navarro (L) none
C Hank Conger (S) 1-for-5, .200 BA
SS John McDonald (R) none

It's a very mixed bag here. Some of these guys have crushed good old Bud over the years. As always, Mike Trout sends shivers up the spine of the opposing pitcher. On the other hand, Norris has had the number of one of the best players of all time; Pujols.

Some of the guys on the bench: Chris Ianetta (2-for-7 against Norris) and Erick Aybar (2-for-9) are the only other two to have faced the O's starter.


  • The Orioles have scouts in Philadelphia tonight along with the Tigers, Blue Jays, Brewers, Angels, Royals, Giants, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Pirates.
  • Markakis currently has a streak of 271 games without an error. It is the longest for an outfielder in Oriole history.
  • To make this start Norris was recalled from the minors. In response, Steve Clevenger has been optioned.
  • Miguel Gonzalez has been sent down to Triple-A Norfolk but won't leave the team as he is still scheduled to make the start against the Angels tomorrow night.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez has been scheduled to make a rehab start Wednesday.
  • The Mariners pushed back both Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez one day. So, now the Orioles will face both of them in the four-game series starting Thursday.
  • The Orioles have not lost consecutive series since the first two of the season.
  • Happy Birthday to Wei-Yin Chen, who turns 29 today, and Mike Bordick, who is 49.