Britton pitching well, but little things cost him run
By Dan Connolly
Apr 26, 2011 at 4:30 PM
Zach Britton has allowed just one run and one hit through four innings.
And he's probably kicking himself after giving up that run in the fourth. Because he pitched well enough to keep the shutout, but the little things that often plague pitchers – especially young pitchers -- cost him.
First, Britton had Dustin Pedroia down 0-2 and couldn't put him away, with Pedroia singling for the Red Sox first hit of the evening. No shame there, Pedroia has done that to plenty pitchers over the years.
But Britton, whose sinker was in overdrive, then got the comebacker he wanted off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez. Britton, however, gloved it, but couldn't hold on and eventually had to settle for the out at first instead of a double play.
With Kevin Youkilis up, Britton didn't keep tabs on Pedroia on second and the scrappy second baseman stole third when Britton threw a pitch in the dirt to Youkilis, who then hit a sacrifice fly to score Pedroia.
It was classic Red Sox, but it's also an example of how hard it is to be a great major-league pitcher. Not only does a pitcher have to throw strikes, change speeds and all that other stuff pitching coaches preach, but he also has to field the position and hold runners and put guys away 0-2.
All that said, Britton has looked good through four innings against a very difficult lineup. The Orioles are up 2-1 heading into the fifth.
Matt Wieters has a RBI single (that hit the first base bag and bounced away) and Adam Jones has a sacrifice fly against Clay Buchholz.