Reds vs. Orioles: RHP Mat Latos vs. RHP Bud Norris


Cincinnati Reds (66-71) vs. Baltimore Orioles (79-57)

RHP Mat Latos (5-3, 3.15 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .224 OAV) vs. RHP Bud Norris (11-8, 4.00 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .251 OAV)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014: 7:05 p.m. at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Never before has Mat Latos squared off against the Baltimore Orioles, let alone pitch a game in Oriole Park. The offense that the Orioles have stacked together is predicated on power, leading the American League in home runs.

Where Baltimore is susceptible is via the strikeout. While Latos currently possesses a career-low 6.6 K/9 IP, he is coming off his first double-digit strikeout game of the year on August 27 against the Cubs. Two starts prior to that, he would strike out seven Colorado Rockies—his second highest total of the season, indicating that both the velocity and movement on his pitches are on the rise.

In six road starts this season, Latos possess a 2.31 ERA compared to a 3.78 at home. With the Orioles always in scoring position the second they step into the batter’s box, it is important to note Mat has allowed only one home run on the road all year in 39.1 innings of work.

Here is the lineup he will be facing via the team’s Twitter account:

DH – Nick Markakis (yet to face Latos)

LF – Alejandro De Aza (yet to face Latos)

CF – Adam Jones (yet to face Latos)

RF – Nelson Cruz (2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI)

1B – Chris Davis (yet to face Latos)

3B – Jimmy Paredes (yet to face Latos)

C – Caleb Joseph (yet to face Latos)

SS – Ryan Flaherty (yet to face Latos)

2B – Jonathan Schoop (yet to face Latos)

Enjoying his first year as a full-time member of the Baltimore Orioles, Bud Norris is reaping the benefits. Some may believe that pitching in the American League East is a hindrance, but for Norris, it just means he finally has an offense that can score. Never having been an above .500 pitcher in a season where he has made at least a dozen starts, Norris has a career-high in wins (11) already as September rolls in.

The month of August was not kind to one of the Orioles’ premier pitchers as he would make five starts and deliver only one of the quality variety. An ERA that was under 3.70 at the conclusion of July has jumped up to an even four as Norris takes the hill Tuesday night.

Much in the way that the Reds last opponent, Francisco Liriano, had never beaten the Reds in seven regular season starts, the same holds true for Norris. A former longtime Houston Astro, Norris is 0-3 with a 5.11 ERA against the Redlegs. The Reds are only one of two teams that Norris has failed to beat in at least five appearances (the San Francisco Giants the other).

Here is the lineup he will be facing via the team’s Twitter account:

CF – Billy Hamilton (yet to face Norris)

1B – Todd Frazier (1-for-7, 1 BB, 3 K’s)

2B – Brandon Phillips (5-for-15, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB’s)

C – Devin Mesoraco (3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K’s)

RF – Jay Bruce (3-for-15, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB’s, 5 K’s)

LF – Chris Heisey (0-for-3, 2 K’s)

DH – Brayan Pena (yet to face Norris)

3B – Kristopher Negron (yet to face Norris)

SS – Ramon Santiago (yet to face Norris)

With the National League Central race being slimmed down to a three-dog race, the Cincinnati Reds will have to revel in playing the role of spoiler in the month of September.

Mat Latos will continue his push for a salary drive on Tuesday as he makes his first career start against the Orioles and the Redlegs look to continue their winning ways against former nemesis Bud Norris.