NEW YORK—A week ago, Zach Britton was in Cincinnati for the All-Star Game. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.
It was a fun experience for Britton, who is in his second season as Orioles closer.
“It was cool to be around that group of guys. I had talked to guys before, like [Dellin] Betances, just spoke to him in passing, so we were able to spend some time with those guys. You try to pick their brains a little bit, but it's tough because it's two days and there's so much stuff going on, you rarely have a few moments to sit down and relax and talk,” Britton said.
Darren O’Day, who was picked for the game but didn’t pitch, said he wanted to watch Kansas City’s Wade Davis, who has yet to allow a home run in two seasons of relieving.
“He pitched after me, so I didn't get to see him warm up or anything. Sometimes, you like to just watch how guys go about preparing to pitch, but it was tough. Everyone in front of me was a starter and they had no idea what was going on, so they were actually asking us for tips,” Britton said.
“It was a cool experience and you build somewhat of a relationship with those guys going forward. Maybe pick their brains a little later. But it's tough to do in those two days. You don't have a lot of free time when you're in the clubhouse to kind of sit there and talk about stuff like that."
Britton felt that American League manager Ned Yost did a good job of getting him ready.
“He told me the sixth or seventh inning was going to be the inning he wanted to pitch me in, so just be ready. That was nice. It wasn't just a phone call, 'Hey, guess what? You're in the game.' I thought he did a really good job of keeping everybody informed, which has got to be tough to do. You want to win the game, but you don't want to injure guys,” Britton said.