It wasn’t all going to be all roses and gumdrops for Zach Britton in his major league career.
After two dominating efforts in his first two major league starts - Britton had allowed just one run in 13 2/3 innings prior to last night, earning two wins in the process - the left-hander finally proved he is, in fact, human.
It’s sad to read, I know. But it’s true.
Britton was touched by the Indians for five runs in six innings of work. He allowed eight hits and gave up the first home run of his big league career.
But here’s what’s important for Orioles fans to notice: The 23-year-old didn’t fold.
Despite giving up six straight hits to start the third inning (he had only allowed seven hits in his two previous starts combined), resulting in a four-run frame, Britton held tough and worked out of a jam.
From there, he allowed just one run in his final three innings. He got his way through six innings on just 83 pitches, and made hitters earn everything they got, striking out six to just one walk.
Instead of losing his cool and unraveling, as many rookie pitchers would have in that spot, Britton put his head down and fought through a rough patch.
No starter is going to have his A-plus stuff every night out. Britton didn’t have his best night against Cleveland, but he showed some intestinal fortitude, saved the bullpen from a potentially long night, and kept his team in the game.
And, really, that’s all you can ask for. Although another 7 2/3 scoreless sure would’ve been nice.