Zack Britton has mastered his filthy sinker throughout his nine-year career. The Yankees reliever relies on that pitch to get ground ball outs and strikeouts. Britton has thrown his sinker nearly 2,500 times below the strike zone, and remarkably, no player had ever hit a home run off the pitch. Well, that ridiculous streak came to a crashing halt on Wednesday, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. became the first player to send the low sinker into the seats.
The Blue Jays' phenom took Britton deep in the eighth inning of a 7-6 ball game, handing the Jays the lead and becoming the first player to ever handle the league-renowned sinker when it's comes in below the strike zone.
According to @statcast ...— Chris Black (@ByChrisBlack) June 6, 2019
Over the course of his nine-year career, @zbritton has thrown nearly 2,500 of his filthy sinkers below the strike zone...
And last night was the first time one of them left the ballpark. pic.twitter.com/fbe1d63n9Z
Vlad Jr. has shown he deserves to be in the big leagues but he has also proved like his father, he can go down and get any pitch and smack it for a hit. It took nine seasons for Britton's low sinker to get mashed, and who else but the most coveted prospect in baseball to deliver the hammer?
Why was Vladimir Guerrero Jr. so highly touted? This is why.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 6, 2019
A clutch go-ahead homer for the #BlueJays phenom vs. the #Yankees.
After 0 homers in his first 13 games, he now has 7 in his past 20. pic.twitter.com/p4LJxqMaQF
For as many years as Britton has been in the league, you would have thought a low sinker would have been hit out of the ballpark. He played in Camden Yards and now in Yankee Stadium which are both launching pads especially in the summer. Oddly enough, Vladdy took him deep at Rogers Centre, rather than the two hitter-friendly parks Britton has called home throughout his career.
Baseball pitchers never forget, and the next time we see a Britton-Guerrero Jr. matchup, expect the Yankees' reliever to be a bit more hesitant to throw his go-to sinker.