Britton on his first ML spring outing

Orioles pitching prospect Zach Britton admitted he was “nervous as hell” before reporters even got in a question. Here’s the rest of what he had to say about the first time he faced a Major League lineup, this afternoon’s two scoreless inning outing against the Phillies…

[on how he felt]
“I was pretty nervous in the pen I felt it. It was exciting, it was good to get it out of the way. It was all nerves out there so, I’m just happy it went well.

[on what catcher Jake Fox said to him in their mound meeting] He told me a funny joke actually, I think he wanted to settle me down. He knew I was excited to be out there and stuff like that. I don’t even know what joke it was. Because I wasn’t laughing, I thought we were like having a serious conversation, and he was like, ‘You can laugh a little bit’.
 
[on being nervous for the first time in his career]
“I’ve really never been nervous on a mound. Today was really the first day I was pretty excited and nervous at the same time to get out there, especially [Ryan] Howard coming up the second guy, so it was exciting but I’m happy it’s over with. I feel like those nerves won’t be there the next time.

[On getting Howard to strikeout?] The funny thing is he swung and missed the first fastball, I saw him look at me kind of like [impressed] because I had some pretty good movement on that fastball. So I was like alright well, I know I can pretty much go after him with those. I tried to mess around with some sliders and I tried to throw them way too hard. But it felt pretty good to see him swing through that last one, because it was up in the zone. But thank god he missed right?

[on his lack of command]
“Definitely overthrowing was the thing. But I think when I get out there the next time I’ll be within myself a little bit more. When I try to overdo things the ball moves so much I have no idea where it’s going, so. It was one of those things where I think I threw quite a bit of pitches and not a whole lot of strikes, but I got some ground balls which at least shows me that the stuff is going to do what it did in the Minors. I’m still going to get ground balls which is always a good thing.”

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