Astros starter Bud Norris set a Minute Maid Park record on Saturday, striking out 14 batters over seven innings in a 3-2 victory over the Pirates.
Norris is an odd talent. He’ll show flashes of great potential, then get totally shelled next time out. It’s partly control problems, and partly the fact that he is still learning. Either way, the 25-year-old’s fastball is consistently clocked in the mid-90s and he has a slider that serves as a quality out pitch when it’s moving how he wants.
Norris is averaging 9.75 strikeouts per nine innings this season and ran into an awful Pirates team. It was a match made in heaven, and he made it work in record-breaking fashion. Now look for him to be blown up next time out against the Mets.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.