Baltimore Orioles fans can take a deep breath with the news of Zach Britton’s knee.
BALTIMORE, Md. — According to Roch Kubatko of MASN, Britton “underwent an MRI this morning on his left knee and the results were positive, according to one person in the organization.”
This is splendid news for the Orioles and their especially their bullpen. It is still not known if the 29-year old closer will be put on the disabled list before the beginning Baltimore’s three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday.
After converting 60 straight save opportunities, Britton was unable to close the door on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics, blowing a save in the ninth inning to tie the game at 7-7. Despite that, the Orioles would ultimately win on a Manny Machado walk-off solo home run in the 12th inning to win 8-7. Baltimore manager Buck Showalter was quite impressed with Britton’s accomplishment, which was the American League record.
“It’s a reminder of how hard it is to do,” Showalter said of Britton’s 60 straight saves. “I just called him in my office and congratulated him. You won’t see it again and he does hold the record in my mind, okay? It’s historical, that’s as good as you’ll ever see in any of our lifetimes. It’s special and it’s been an honor to watch him do it and days like today, with the skill level of the teams that he’s facing, it’s unbelievable to dominate in a role like that. It just doesn’t happen.”
Previously this season, Britton spent time on the disabled list twice for forearm discomfort in his pitching arm. This knee injury isn’t new, as explained by Showalter, but it is assumed that Baltimore will closely monitor the situation. This season, Britton has pitched to a 1-0 record, with a 3.55 ERA and 11 saves in 28 appearances.
Despite Britton not being not pitching at the level that he did last season (2-1 record, 0.54 ERA, 47 saves in 69 appearances), he still is a valuable part of the bullpen.
“I’ve probably had it since like 2014,” Britton said on Wednesday about his knee. “I got my cleats stuck one time in Toronto on their turf and it was something that was kind of bothering me. I mean, I think I pitched through it the last three or for years. So you just want go in just to get it checked out. Dr. Jacobs wanted me to; I was kind of pushing it off. He said ‘let’s just look at it’ and I’ll be going to Boston. It’s not something that is gonna prevent me from going with the team.
(Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports)