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Mariano Rivera

Orioles closer Zach Britton rises only after he embraced the sinker

Orioles closer Zach Britton rises only after he embraced the sinker

Opposing hitters know it's coming. But when Orioles closer Zach Britton whips his left arm forward — unleashing mid 90s heat toward the plate before it drops off the table — there's not much a batter can do when faced with the uncommon combination of velocity and movement that Britton's power sinker presents.

Mainly utilizing that one pitch, the 28-year-old has gone from struggling starter to one of the best closers in the game. Two seasons ago, he began the year as a long reliever, partially because the team needed to find a way to keep him on the 25-man roster because he was out of minor-league options. Now, he's coming off an All-Star season having converted more than...

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