Will Kevin Gausman continue to trend in the right direction?
Will he continue to hack away at his ERA, which has lost so much weight that I’m waiting for it to do the weather on “The Today Show”?
Gausman is a tough act to follow after holding the Indians to two runs and four hits over eight innings. One walk, seven strikeouts, but a 2-1 loss.
The right-hander has allowed two runs in three of his last four starts, but he’s increased his innings from five to six to eight. His ERA, meanwhile, has fallen over five starts from 13.50 to 8.00 to 6.60 to 5.57 to 4.66.
Gausman faced the Tigers on April 18 at Comerica Park and allowed two runs and nine hits over six innings, and didn’t get the decision in a 6-5 loss. Jeimer Candelario and Miguel Cabrera homered off him.
In seven career starts against the Tigers, Gausman has registered a 3.95 ERA and 1.244 WHIP over 41 innings.
Victor Martinez is 1-for-21 with a double against Gausman.
The Orioles face another left-hander today in Daniel Norris, who’s 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.538 WHIP in four games. In his only start in Game 2 of an April 20 doubleheader, Norris held the Royals to one run and three hits with three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He threw two innings in relief on Wednesday in his most recent appearance.
Norris has logged 9 1/3 career innings against the Orioles and allowed two runs and six hits. In his only start in his Tigers debut on Aug. 2, 2015, he held the Orioles to one run and four hits over 7 1/3 innings.
Chris Davis homered off Norris, his 26th of the season. Ubaldo Jiménez took the loss after allowing six runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Jorge Rondon and Brian Matusz also pitched that night.
Your designated hitter? Jimmy Paredes.
The players on the current roster don’t have many looks at Norris. Tim Beckham is 2-for-10 and headed to Sarasota later today to continue rehabbing from core muscle surgery. Jonathan Schoop is 3-for-4 and joining Beckham on the flight while recovering from a strained oblique.
Danny Valencia is 2-for-3 with two walks. Davis, missing from last night’s lineup but expected to return today, is 1-for-2 with a home run.
Valencia is a career .344 hitter (56-for-163) in 47 games against the Tigers.
Manny Machado is batting .397 (23-for-58) in his last 15 games, with six home runs and 16 RBIs in that span.
The Orioles are still searching for their first home series win of 2018. They haven’t won more than two games in a row all season, taking the first two at Yankee Stadium on April 5-6.
It’s understandable if guys are pressing as they try to lift the team out of its funk and save the season.
“I don’t know if we’re necessarily doing that or that’s our biggest problem right now,” said Trey Mancini, “but, yeah, I think sometimes, especially offensively, going up, just trying a little too hard trying to do too much. And baseball’s a tough game. It’s a cool game. It’s hard to contain yourself sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment. You’ve got to find a way to go up and relax.”