So the veteran right-hander was not fazed by a 32-hour stretch in which he was informed of his trade from Atlanta to the
"It's kind of a whirlwind thing, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to be ready to pitch," said Norris, who grew up in the Bay Area. "It's the game I love, that I've been playing since I was a kid. It's exciting for me to come home and play on the West Coast and be in a pennant race again."
Norris was acquired as a stopgap, but he looked more like a stopper Friday night, ingratiating himself to his new teammates with six dominant innings in a 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Acquired in a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency trade, Norris did a fair impersonation of the ace he replaced in the rotation, Clayton Kershaw, who was sidelined this week by a herniated disk in his lower back.
Norris held a robust lineup that entered Friday with a
"Six scoreless innings, eight punchouts … we could not have scripted it any better," Manager Dave Roberts said. "I know he was excited about being in a Dodgers uniform. He felt the electricity out there tonight. He was focused, and he worked well with Yasmani [Grandal, the Dodgers catcher]."
Norris, 31, was demoted from the
Norris had a 2.15 ERA in five June starts — four of them wins for the lowly Braves. He held opposing hitters to a .200 average, striking out 29 and walking eight in 291/3 innings, and produced a 59.2% ground-ball rate.
Norris, the 10th starting pitcher the Dodgers have used this season, shattered Cristhian Adames' bat on a first-inning groundout, but he didn't look much like a ground-ball specialist Friday night.
Mixing a fastball that touched 96 mph with his cut fastball and slider, Norris struck out seven of 14 batters through four innings, including No. 3 hitter
"I was expecting more balls in play on the ground, but he's still got velocity and was getting ahead of guys tonight," Roberts said. "That's a good hitting club over there, and he was very efficient."
Was Friday night's performance an indication that Norris could be more than a temporary solution for the injury-ravaged Dodgers rotaton?
"Absolutely," Roberts said. "We got him because we felt he was a front-line guy the way he was throwing the baseball his last three or four turns. For him to pitch like this, I see no reason why he shouldn't stay in the rotation."
The Dodgers broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when
Howie Kendrick and Yasiel Puig singled to open the seventh and advanced on
The Dodgers tacked on three runs in the eighth for a 5-0 lead, Seager sparking the rally with a one-out single, Justin Turner cracking a double to left, and Gonzalez (single to right), Kendrick (double to right) and Scott Van Slyke (sacrifice fly) driving in runs.