ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - I scanned the Rays’ postgame notes, saw a line about Zach Britton becoming the first Orioles pitcher to debut with six scoreless innings since Chris Waters, and ran with it. Then I realized he gave up a run and I made the correction.
That’s the beauty of a blog. You can go back and fix it.
Now it’s fixed.
And now you’ve forgiven me.
Manager Buck Showalter talked about Britton and hit on a few other topics after today’s 5-1 victory over the Rays.
“You watch Jeremy (Guthrie), and he watched it from a chicken wings place, and then he watches (Chris) Tillman yesterday, and he was almost pitching too much early instead of throwing. That sounds crazy to say, but he’s got such great late life. They hit some balls hard off him early and we were fortunate. I think that kind of settled him in. And when you get a major league player making an above-average play behind you, it kind of makes you feel a lot more confident about keeping the ball in the ballpark and just throwing it down there. He was good, he was good. But he’s got a chance to get better. He was pretty excited. I know he watched the last inning from the dugout. They were looking for him.
“I was thinking about the pressure...well, not pressure. He probably doesn’t know what pressure is yet. I don’t know how many people he had here that flew in. I was thinking about that in the dugout. You pull as much for him as you do for the Orioles.”
On Britton limiting the damage in the third:
“You see D-Lee (Derrek Lee) come in and say a little something to him, you see Matty (Wieters) go out there and slow him down. Those are the big things people bring other than just statistics. And I think Zach feeds off of that. You look around and there’s Robby (Brian Roberts) and D-Lee and Matty and (J.J.) Hardy. You look around at the people who are there for you and they’re very giving of help. What else should you do if you’ve got it in you except feed off that?”
On team being 3-0 for first time since wire-to-wire season in ‘97:
“I’m glad. I hope that’s the case, but it’s our responsibility and it’s going to take more than winning three games on the road. But it’s a good start for us. If the fans are feeling good about it, that’s an emotion I hope they have.”
On production from bottom of order:
“We were talking in the off-season. When you get to a point where guys can’t coast in that seven, eight, nine...if you put your seven, eight, nine against the other people that you’re competing against, you’ll get a pretty good idea where you are offensively. We’ve got a lot of production there this series.”
“J.J., I thought from the time we (traded for) him and got everything in place that he would be a good fit there. I had a little conversation with him toward the end of spring. I said, ‘How do you feel about where you hit in the order?’ He said, ‘With this lineup, I don’t really care.’ I said, ‘I’m thinking about nine to start off,’ and he said, ‘Beautiful. Let’s go.’”
On starting pitching being so good this series:
“We’ve got 159 more. I think Jeremy set the tone a little bit. I’m not saying that was expected, but for a guy that’s thrown 400 innings the last two years, you think he’s going to keep you in the game, even though the daunting task was facing (David) Price. So far, so good.”
On removing Jason Berken after one inning:
“Not necessarily lined up, just trying to get everybody on the field. I wanted to make sure J.J. (Jim Johnson) got a back-to-back. Koji (Uehara) will be available tomorrow in case we need that in the eighth inning. And I told him before the inning started, if we scored a run there, we’d go with (Josh) Rupe. Berken leaves us with a long guy for tomorrow, so you’re trying to manage the whole thing. But I feel really good being able to get just about all our guys in the bullpen on the mound. I would have paid for that in blood to let them all kind of get those cobwebs out, so to speak. There’s also something to be said for a guy who pitched real well and feels real good about himself, getting him out of there before something changes. You think about all Berk’s come back from. I want him getting on that plane thinking, ‘OK, this is pretty good.’”