NEW YORK - Left-hander Zach Britton didn't make excuses for today's poor showing and he didn't pretend that he's a fixture in the Orioles' rotation. He admitted to reporters that he's concerned about being on a "short leash," as the question was phrased, and that he needs to produce better results if he wants to avoid a return trip to the minors.
"Yeah, you try not to think about it, but we're in the hunt and I understand what I have to do to be at this level, and I'm not getting it done right now," he said. "I've got to either to something or somebody else is going to come up and find a way to do the job, and that's the way it should be and I understand that.
"I've been kind of in this situation before, and I've got to do something about it and start earning my keep, so to speak."
Britton lacked command today and "being able to get comfortable with the grip and go after the guys," he said.
"My stuff was fine. It was just the execution of my pitches and commanding the ball."
Are the 14 walks in 18 1/3 innings caused by being too tentative?
"Yeah, that's something that we've talked about a little bit," he said. "I think just over-thinking things at times, not being in a good rhythm on the mound, a good pace of the game. You see when the guys were getting on today, when Rick (Adair) came out, we kind of talked. 'Hey, let's pick up the pace here a little bit.'
"I think just over-thinking things a little bit rather than just being aggressive with my
stuff right now."
Britton has registered one quality start in four outings since the Orioles recalled him on July 17. His ERA rose to 8.35 today.
When a reporter asked whether Britton was making any sort of progress, he replied, "I wouldn't say that at all."
"At this stage, you're not really working on things. You're out there trying to win a game, and I'm not doing that right now."