Adam Jones talked about his 11-pitch at-bat against Clay Buchholz in the second inning.
“That set the tone,” he said. “Everybody was able to see everything that he threw and he really didn’t fool a lot of guys. He’s still good. He still held this team to four runs, but it was a lengthy at-bat. I wish it had a better result.
“It’s good to see us swinging the bats. You have Vladi. As soon as he got that last hit, I said, ‘Don’t let that man get hot.’ He’s the one guy that you do not want that guy to get hot.”
Jones said he wants to see Zach Britton continue to progress. The kid’s been awfully good so far.
“He’s still young,” Jones said. “He still has a ceiling or whatever that saying is. He has very good stuff and he’s been throwing well for us. It’s a matter of continuing to make adjustments, because other teams are going to continue to make the adjustments against him.”
Asked about Britton’s composure, Jones said, “He’s got a pair.”
I don’t think Jones meant aces.
“I said that earlier today. Every time he walks on that mound, he goes out there and gives it his all. That’s really all you can ask.”
Jim Johnson also weighed in on Britton.
“In pressure situations, that’s when a hanging curveball or poor execution often come in, but he beared down,” Johnson said. “It’s a little clichÃƒÂ©d to say that he stays within himself, but really, one of the hardest things to do in baseball is to take that foot off the gas pedal instead of overdoing it and overthrowing and trying to do too much in that situation. He did a great job of it.”
Johnson wasn’t so bad himself tonight.
“I was consistently down in the zone, which was good,” Johnson said after lowering his ERA to 2.79. “If I can do that, I’m going to get ground balls for the most part and it’ll help me stay out of big innings, which is big. Things went well, but you have to give credit to Britton for holding it together. He ran into a couple of jams and he pitched out of it. You’ve got to give him credit.”
Matt Wieters’ opinion of Britton certainly counts, since he’s calling the pitches and setting the target.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Wieters said. “What is he, 23, 24? He’s doing a heck of a job going against some tough talent. And the good thing is, the more he gets up here, the better, I think, he’s going to get.”
And finally, here’s Derrek Lee on Britton:
“The one thing I learned about him is he doesn’t care who it is. He’s going to go out and execute his game plan,” Lee said. “His sinker, you don’t see a ball with that much movement from a lefty very often. He’s going to be tough all year. He just has a great arm.”
And a great amount of confidence. Keep in mind that Britton thought the Orioles should have called him up last September.
“He believes in himself,” Lee said. “And like I said, he’s not worried about who he’s facing or what team it is. He has a game plan he’s going to execute.”