Musing about Britton, Wieters and the Orioles' strong start

April 04, 2011|By Matt Vensel

We're just about to get underway here at Camden Yards, but before the Orioles continue their pursuit of perfection against the Tigers, I wanted to give my quick thoughts on Zach Britton, Matt Wieters and other nuggets from the Orioles' sweep of the Rays.

Britton was solid in his first career start, allowing just one run in six innings. His pitch repertoire was impressive, and you can see why everyone is so high on this kid. But I was impressed with his moxie. He struggled with his command early, but he kept his cool and worked his way out of jams even though he didn't have his best stuff. It Britton and Brian Matusz pan out as expected, that's going to be quite the 1-2 punch atop the rotation.

In the three-game sweep, the Orioles allowed just three runs. Starters Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman and Britton gave up just one in 22 innings of work. They deserve plenty of credit, especially Tillman and Britton for making big starts on short notice. But catcher Matt Wieters has taken control of this staff in his third season in the big leagues, as Jeff Zrebiec pointed out on the Orioles Insider blog. I predicted that Wieters would get to the All-Star Game this season, and he certainly held up that end of the bargain defensively in the first series.

The offense didn't break out, but we saw the value of having a complete lineup. The Orioles' 7-8-9 hitters had four doubles, scored seven of the team's 12 runs and knocked in four runners. They weren't getting that from Cesar Izturis and Julio Lugo and whoever else last year.

What was the most encouraging thing you saw from the Orioles over the weekend?

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