Alright, I’ll admit it.
I wasn’t exactly expecting Bud Norris to go out there and throw a gem in his first start since returning from the disabled list. In fact, I was kind of expecting to see the opposite of what we saw on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
Norris threw five innings, allowed four hits, an earned run, two walks and seven strikeouts on 85 pitches. He entered Sunday’s start with a 9.88 ERA over 27.1 innings pitched and .328 batting average against.
So what did Norris do differently on Sunday?
Well, for starters he was throwing more strikes.
50 of Norris’ 85 pitches were strikes, 58 percent. That’s 10 percent higher than his total in his previous start (May 10 at NYY). In his two quality starts this season (May 5 at NYM and April 26 vs. BOS), Norris threw 75 and 64 percent of his pitches for strikes.
That lower release point is similar to what we saw against the Mets and Red Sox.