Acquired this season in the hopes that he could rebound from a horrid 2015 and strengthen the front end of the Braves rotation, Norris was up with pitches consistently in the first inning. The Tigers feasted, the big blow in the first being Tyler Collins’ two-run triple to right.
But Norris showed no concern afterward, taking the it’s-only-spring defense.
“I need to work deep into the game. I got to 80-85 pitches (82, 55 of them strikes), that was the ultimate goal there,” Norris said. “Granted there are some runs on the scoreboard and I’m not going to worry about that right now.”
Preferring to remember the command he show with all his pitches – fastball, slider, change – Norris said, “I’m going to take the positive from it. I know I got one or two more (starts) before we get this thing going. I’m healthy, my legs are under me and that’s the priority.”
His last outing against the Tigers Norris surrendered six runs on nine hits. Added together, that’s a dozen runs and 16 hits in just 7 2/3 innings.
But Norris was the picture confidence when asked if he was growing weary of seeing Detroit.
“I’m tired of seeing the Tigers,” he said.
“I’m sure they’re tired of seeing me, too. I’ve got my post-season win against them. I won’t forget.” That was 2014, when Norris was at his peak with Baltimore. He beat the Tigers in the American League Division Series, giving up just two hits in 6 1/3 innings. You know, when the scoreboard mattered.