Baltimore Orioles: Zach Britton Beaten — It’s That Bad


Sep 20, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter (26) comes out to talk with relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) and teammates during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the best performer on the Baltimore Orioles over this current season has been closer Zach Britton. And so, at a time when the O’s simply cannot lose a game without it being pretty much fatal, the Tampa Bay Rays found a way to beat Britton—coming back in the bottom of the ninth inning from a 6-5 deficit to record a 7-6 win.

This is all very ironic, because Zach Britton is probably the very last person on the Orioles upon whom to lay blame for this disappointing 2015 campaign. So it really is “THAT BAD” when he takes the loss—in odd fashion, of course. After giving up a leadoff homer Brandon Guyer and one-out triple to Evan Longoria, Britton was a strike away from sending the game into extra innings. But, as with so many hits off Zach, it was an infield chopper that scored the death-blow run.

In spite of the Orioles simply not coming from behind to win many close games this year (though they did do it in this series opener), they were 60-1 when having a lead going into the ninth inning.

Looking back to another year of collapse, more of the blame for the 2013 demise could be laid upon the closer at that time—Jim Johnson—than any other single player.

But I thought it would be interesting to lay out the stats of these two O’s closers over the past three seasons where the Birds have become a competitive team …


The loss was the first of the year for Britton, after having four wins. Britton is not the problem with the Orioles in 2015, even if he did leave a pitch up in the zone for the homer and did not throw a better pitch on the 0-2 chopper that won the game.

Chris Davis had another fine game and hit his 43rd home run of the season—a blast that gave the Orioles a lead at that time.

The Orioles need to finish 8-5 over the final 13 games to gain a .500 season. It may be the best that we can now hope for, as we have to face the truth that this turned out to be a .500 team in 2015.

Next: What to cheer for over the final games of the season

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