After a short walk across the diamond and a wardrobe change, Baltimore Orioles‘ Bud Norris is being turned around to face off against his former Houston Astros just a day after wearing the orange and navy.
But it’s not just any ordinary start for Norris.
The Orioles are losing ground on their divisional foes Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, who are quickly making the AL East race a two-team affair. The O’s powerful lineup has gone cold and their shut-down rotation has been rocked.
In last night’s game alone, the Orioles staff gave up 11 runs to the woeful Astros, including a towering grand slam by catcher Jason Castro.
Norris is needed now more than ever.
Having never pitched for a highly competitive team as a member of the Astros, Norris is a stranger to being needed for a crucial win. As such, tonight is the biggest game of his still-young career. The O’s are turning to him to turn their struggles around. Their newest teammate has become their most important teammate.
The Orioles still have to face the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics as well as the Rays and Red Sox in the coming weeks, and are hard-pressed to get a streak going in the opposite direction.
In steps Norris, forced to stare across the diamond at his friends and former teammates, needing — for the first time in his career against any team — to shut them down and get his new team back into the playoff race.