It’s been no secret that Zach Britton has struggled since joining the Yankees. And he isn’t getting ahead of himself even after a perfect inning with a strikeout in the Yankees’ 3-1 loss to the Rays at Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon.
“It’s one outing, so I’ve been around long enough to know you’re only as good as your last one,” Britton said. “But the next one, you got to get right back out there. So if that’s tomorrow, it’s just about putting a stretch together of good, consistent outings, being in situations where you can help the team win.”
Britton has shown the ability to do just that for his team -- with a career 3.28 ERA despite a 4.50 ERA this season and a 7.36 mark as a member of the Yankees. In 2016, Britton had a 0.54 ERA in 67 innings for the Orioles, preceded with an ERA of 1.65 in 2014 and 1.92 in 2015.
Before Thursday, Britton allowed at least one run in his last two outings, and three of his last four. When he was acquired near the trade deadline, manager Aaron Boone said he’d be an important late-inning piece, something he still has the ability of being with a strong close to the season.
“It’s all mentality at this stage,” Britton said. “There’s nothing in delivery or anything I’m working on now. At this stage, it’s more about getting out there, getting reps.”
Britton is also working back from a ruptured Achilles tendon during an offseason workout and made his first appearance June 12. He said he felt like he’s been “getting in his own way,” with thoughts about his injury.
“It’s moreso just getting out there, getting reps, getting over the thoughts of the Achilles, the injuries and things like that,” Britton said. “Just being competitive and keep staying in that mindset - the competitive, aggressive mindset I would have.”
Thursday could prove to be that turn toward the All-Star level Britton's been at in the past.
“It’s a good one,” Britton said. “But I need to continue it.”