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Zach Britton is off to a great start

Updated: April 10, 2011, 11:06 AM ET
By Buster Olney

BOSTON -- If you can't be in the house for a Zach Britton start, maybe the best angle from which to watch him pitch would be a straight-on camera in center field -- right behind him, rather than the camera that is positioned just a bit to left-center.

Because that camera angle from straightaway center field gives you a better understanding of how much movement Britton has on his fastball, how different his fastball is and how it swerves away from right-handed hitters, at about 95 mph.

Britton is left-handed and it's difficult to come up with names of many left-handers who can throw that hard, with that much movement -- Jonny Venters of the Braves is one -- which is part of the reason why opposing hitters can look so futile against him. They just don't see many pitchers like Britton in a given month.

In the first week of the season, the Texas Rangers hammered or merely beat every pitcher they had faced, from Jon Lester to Clay Buchholz to Felix Hernandez, but on Saturday, Britton -- throwing that vicious fastball -- completely shut down Texas in the first game of a doubleheader.

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