SARASOTA, Fla.- Young left-hander Zach Britton looks calm and composed on the mound tonight. It doesn't matter that he's facing the Yankees before a standing-room-only crowd in a game that's airing on MASN.
Britton admitted to a case of the jitters after his first appearance against the Phillies, but he mowed down the Yankees on 13 pitches in the first inning. He retired Derek Jeter on a grounder to short, Robinson Cano on a bouncer to second and Mark Teixeira on a tapper to the mound.
The anthem singer, Dana Lawrence, appeared to be a lot more nervous than Britton. He botched the lyrics so badly on his first attempt, he stopped and said, "Let's try that again." Then he messed up again, but kept on going.
It's not as easy as it looks, which is why I keep refusing to perform it at the Super Bowl.
Manager Buck Showalter was probably nervous watching Brian Roberts dive into first base to beat out an infield hit.
We're still looking for Cameron Diaz, who's made plenty of wives nervous. She's supposed to be here tonight. Security has been alerted.
Update: The only way Britton could improve his night is if Diaz slips him her phone number. He blanked the Yankees over three innings, allowing singles to Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, and walking the University of Maryland's Justin Maxwell. Britton threw 42 pitches, 23 for strikes.
The Orioles almost broke through in the second when Mark Reynolds led off with a double to right and Adam Jones singled, but Yankees center fielder Greg Golson threw out Reynolds at the plate.