BALTIMORE -- As he has done for much of his time with the Orioles, Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t in any hurry to announce his Game 2 starter for Saturday. He sent both right-hander Bud Norris and left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to the podium Friday, a news conference that is usually reserved for the next day’s starting pitcher.
Showalter said he wanted to make sure neither had to pitch in relief Friday.
“We’re going to do everything we can to try to win [Friday’s] game and let the smoke clear and see where we are,” he said.
Despite the secrecy, Norris is expected to get the call for Game 2. He was the winning pitcher in the Game 3 clincher of the AL division series in Detroit on Sunday. He has made two career starts against the Kansas City Royals and is 0-1 with an earned-run average of 0.68.
Chen is 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA in six career starts against the Royals, but he is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts at Kauffman Stadium. It’s expected he’ll get a start in Kansas City, perhaps Game 3 on Monday.
Both pitchers said Friday afternoon that they weren’t concerned about the uncertainty.
“It’s a little different, but it goes with the times,” Norris said. “Understand that you are still a soldier, you’re working for a team. Just go out there and pitch is all you can focus on.”
Life of Brian
It all happened in about a week. Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz experienced a gut-punching low of the postseason and then an exhilarating high — all without throwing a pitch. Then he pitched, and he took another blow
Matusz, the 27-year-old left-hander who had been with the club all season, was left off the ALDS roster, primarily because the Detroit Tigers had a right-handed-heavy lineup.
“At first, it was not a good feeling,” said Matusz, who pitched in six games in the 2012 postseason for the Orioles. “But, obviously, just understanding the situation and trying to put together the best roster to win. And fortunately it worked out.”
On Thursday afternoon, Showalter informed Matusz that he would be on the ALCS roster, replacing right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. It’s the only change Showalter made between rounds.
Matusz entered in the 10th inning of Game 1 and gave up a two-run homer to Mike Moustakas.