This is why we can’t have nice things. As is commonplace with the 2015 Detroit Tigers, when something goes good, something goes wrong to put a damper on the rare positive.
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This was the case again Wednesday night as the Tigers competed the sweep (their first sweep since the second series of the season) over the formerly red-hot Chicago Cubs with an offense explosion behind five homers in the 15-8 win.
One of those homers came from Daniel Norris, who, on his first ever professional at-bat, drilled a home run to straight away center field for a 419 foot homer. It was the first homer by a Tigers’ pitcher since 2005.
First some history. Norris is just the third pitcher in baseball history to hit a home run on his first at-bat and the first American League pitcher to hit one out of Wrigley Field.
That homer came in the second inning, Norris allowed three runs in the third inning, but pitched well other than that. It was the fifth inning when Norris said he hurt himself on a curveball to Dexter Fowler, requiring him to leave the game and let the Detroit bullpen do what it does best: suck.
After the game the Tigers placed Norris on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain. It is unknown the severity of the injury and Norris will undergo an MRI on Thursday.
Candidates to replace Norris in the rotation include Kyle Lobstein, Kyle Ryan, Buck Farmer and even Alex Wilson, who the Tigers have toyed with having start and has one career start under his belt earlier this year in Oakland. Also a possibility is Michael Fullmer, a piece in the Yoenis Cespedes trade. He’s been putting up eye-popping numbers in AA Erie (1.62 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in three starts) and will likely get a look sooner or later this year in Detroit.
For a guy that was exciting and off to a pretty decent start in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform, this is a disappointment for the team and the fans, but no one is likely as upset as Norris himself who will likely work as hard as possible to come back before the end of the season if at all possible.