BOSTON – Zach Britton hasn’t pitched since Sunday in Tampa Bay, and watched as Darren O’Day closed out three straight games in Washington.
Britton tossed in the outfield, and then moved to the bullpen to work there. After he was done, Britton reported that his left lat muscle was better.
“I tried to let some go and simulate a game or a situation, but it's obviously impossible to do that. But it felt great,” Britton said.
“I think we jumped over every hurdle to see if I was game-ready, and I’m right there.”
Manager Buck Showalter, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti have to decide on what’s next for Britton.
“When you're starting you've got to build up for five innings. For me, an inning or two. I think a better understanding of what it really is or how it's going to feel just by throwing in the bullpen. I don't know if we expected to actually throw in the bullpen today, so that was really good. Maybe that gets me back soon,” Britton said.
Britton probably won’t be available on Friday night.
“I think tomorrow is probably more realistic, but it felt good enough where tonight could be an option if there's a need,” Britton said.
He enjoyed watching O’Day’s success.
“I kind of picked a tough time for you.’ [With him going] three days in a row, it would definitely be nice to get back out there so we can kind of save the guys in the pen,” Britton said.
“Darren and Brad [Brach] have been throwing well all year. You put them in the eighth, ninth inning, seventh inning, whatever, they’re going to do the same job they’ve been doing all year. Darren, he could be closing for a lot of teams and I think everyone’s seeing that now. But it didn’t surprise me at all that he went out there and shut that lineup down. It’s nice when you have that option to let me take a break when I need it and I appreciate those guys picking me up.”
O’Day is a free agent after this season, and he could be closing for some teams.
“He’s been throwing so well this year, even better than last year and last year was a pretty impressive year for him, so I’m happy for him, and hope we can keep him,” Britton said.
“I mean, three days off, felt like a week. I can’t remember the last time I had three days off, but now. Once you get off the mound, it’s kind like riding a bike. Once you get a feel for the first few. I was getting a little antsy charting the last couple of games. Excited to get back.”
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