Here is a pretty impressive stat: In Zach Britton’s last five saves, he has needed just 42 total pitches to get those 15 outs.
Talk about a lack of drama in the ninth inning. Orioles fans could get used to that.
We can’t expect Britton to keep doing it this efficiently, but in those outings he needed, in order, eight, eight, 10, 10 and six pitches to get those saves. He is 8-for-9 in save chances this season.
He is pounding that two-seamer and getting grounder after grounder. He got three quick ground balls on six pitches last night to save the O’s 7-5 win.
Britton is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.74 for the season. His 8.50 ground-to-air out ratio is amazing. Hitters know the sinker is coming, but the late movement makes it very hard to square up and drive the ball.
Britton has allowed a .180 batting average against this year. With runners in scoring position, that goes down to .160 and with RISP and two outs that goes down to .091.
Call him great Britton or just say Britton has been great. Either way, you’d be right. For now, O’s fans are breathing easier with a lead in the ninth inning.
More O’s notes:
* The O’s scored seven runs last night for their most since eight at Texas on June 3. Going into the game, they had scored just nine runs over the past four games, 19 in the last 7 and 33 in the previous 11.
* The Orioles are still looking for a 10-hit game. They had eight hits in Tuesday’s win. They have now gone a season-long 11 straight games without double-figure hits, dating back to June 6. The club is batting .230 in that stretch.
* The Orioles’ streak of consecutive quality starts ended at eight when Miguel Gonzalez gave up four runs over five innings. The starters had an ERA of 1.86 during the eight-game run. They last had nine in a row from June 29, 2010 to April 4, 2011. The team record is 20 quality starts in a row set in 1961.
* Steve Pearce is now batting .317 with a .535 slugging percentage and a .902 OPS over 101 at-bats. He is hitting .313 against left-handed pitching and .319 against right-handers. He is 10-for-25 with four multi-hit games his last eight contests.
* With last night’s win, the Orioles matched their win total from all of 2013 against Tampa Bay. They are 6-1 this season after going 6-13 last year. The O’s have outscored the Rays 33-18 and have a team ERA of 2.61 in the season series.