A scare for Zach Britton in today’s game at Harrisburg

One of the O’s top pitching prospects, lefty Zach Britton, got quite a scare today pitching for Bowie at Harrisburg in a game that began at 10:35 this morning.

Britton took a two-hit shutout to the bottom of the fifth when the first batter hit a liner back toward the mound.

“It hit me right in the (left) shoulder and dropped right in front of me. I was able to pick up the ball and throw him out at first,” Britton said.

“Right now it’s tight, but no pain or anything, just a little sore. I wanted to go back out there. I had just 50 pitches and felt I could have gone deep in the game. But Brad Komminsk and Kennie Steenstra said ‘You’ve done enough today,’” Britton said by phone from Harrisburg.

Britton recorded the out on the liner that was coming at him at 101 miles per hour, according to the radar reading off the bat, which teammate Chorye Spoone recorded on a radar gun.

The shot was heading toward Britton’s face when he thinks his glove knicked the ball and deflected it to his shoulder.

“I went to deflect it because it was coming toward my face. I have a big grapefruit there on the front part of the shoulder on the bicep tendon.

“It’s hard for me to lift my arm over my head right now. Our trainer Joe Benge wants me to throw tomorrow and see how it feels. He said tomorrow would probably be the worst day. Where it hit, it won’t do any damage except for some swelling. I was more than willing to go back out.”

Britton continued to pitch in that fifth inning and got the next two batters out after the liner hit him.

“It was tight and my arm angle was probably a little lower than it was earlier in the game. That’s the last thing you want. I don’t want to drop my arm angle and hurt myself any other way. I got through the last two guys and I didn’t feel great.”

Despite the scare and soreness he said he’s feeling this afternoon, Britton fully expects to make his next start.

“No, I’ll be back out there in five days.”

Britton was having a great outing and wound up with five scoreless to get the win as Bowie beat Harrisburg 9-0 behind a 16-hit attack.

Not totally happy with some recent outings, Britton decided today to get more aggressive with his pitches like he had last year with Frederick.

“I didn’t feel like I was throwing like I did last year in going after the hitters. (Pitching coach) Kennie (Steenstra) said ‘Go after the guys like you did last year.’ I probably threw 15 changeups today and just a couple of sliders. I challenged them and didn’t nibble and threw my fastball over the plate and let it sink.

“Later in the game, that was the best I’ve thrown the changeup in my career. Action-wise and result-wise, it was by far the best I’ve thrown my changeup in my career.

“I probably could have at least gone seven today, maybe even nine innings.”

With the win, Britton improves to 2-2, 3.60 on the year.

Joel Guzman went 4 for 5 while Tyler Henson and Pedro Florimon had 2 RBI each for Bowie. The Baysox have now won back-to-back games at Harrisburg after an eight-game losing streak.

Note: The video interview here is courtesy of Mike Miller of Orioleshangout.com. Mike does a great job covering the Baysox throughout the year and happened to make the trip today to Harrisburg. He talked with Zach after today’s game.

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