Britton Delivers When O's Need Him
Zach Britton could have been a difference maker this season. He still can be, as Saturday night's spectacular outing against the Tigers showed.
Britton spent the first half of the season recovering from a shoulder injury and pitching for Triple-A Norfolk after spending most of 2011 with the Orioles as a surprise rookie success. Entering Saturday's game Britton had an 8.10 major league ERA in 2012.
Britton was once again recalled from Norfolk Saturday to get a start against Detroit. The Tigers were tied with the Orioles for one of the wild-card spots coming into the game.
Britton delivered, going seven innings and giving up just six hits and no runs during the 3-2 victory. Britton had to be on his game, because Detroit's Rick Porcello was equally strong. It wasn't until the seventh, when Porcello surrendered a three-run home run to Chris Davis, that he cracked.
The Orioles' bullpen, namely Pedro Strop, struggled in the eighth, but escaped nonetheless.
The key here is that during a big game, Britton showed the kind of determination that impressed so many people a year ago. The Orioles, under manager Buck Showalter, have that same kind of stubborn streak. Winning 12 one-run games is a mark of honor for the Birds. They survive. They do enough to win.
Britton brought it Saturday night and showed he can help separate the Orioles from their competition when he's on top of his game.
Posted Aug. 19, 2012