Matt Wieters has been behind the plate a few times this year as Zach Britton had some strong outings, including the May 18 game when Britton allowed just one run (unearned) in seven innings against New York.
But Wieters thought Britton’s best outing of the season was today, when he blanked the Yankees on four singles over seven innings in a 2-0 win, the Orioles’ sixth in a row.
“I think that is the best (stuff) he has had with all three pitches all year,” Wieters said, after Britton did not allow one Yankee to reach second base. “In order to be able to control all three pitches, throw them for strikes and for swing and miss pitches, that’s the best he’s controlled all three of his pitches this year.”
Wieters was asked about the difference in the Britton that got knocked out of back-to-back games in the first inning against the Yankees and Red Sox and the lefty that has now given up just one run in 12 innings his last two starts.
“He’s just pitching more,” Wieters said. “When he first came up, he was just going out there throwing his sinker and other teams adjusted, which is going to happen. So he’s able to pitch a little more and now use all three pitches earlier in the game than he had to before.”
I asked Wieters about the game plan today. Did he and Britton try to change up the pitch sequence the second and third time through the New York lineup?
“You just try to read swings and read what they are trying to do,” he said. “They’ve got a good lineup, but if you make pitches, good pitching is going to beat good hitting more times than not. You’ll take the good pitching every time.”
Both Wieters and Britton downplayed the fact that Britton shut down the same team today that knocked him out in the first inning less than a month ago. In that July 30 start at Yankee Stadium, Britton gave up nine runs and seven hits and got just one out.
“I think it means more to him because he pitched well,” Wieters said. “He was able to throw more of his pitches for strikes and be able to use all three of his pitches. You know, it’s big for him to, at the end of this year put together some good outings and get some confidence going into the offseason.”