Baltimore Orioles: Is this the Big Turnaround for Chris Davis?


May 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman

Chris Davis

(19) hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In the time frame of about only 27 hours, the Baltimore Orioles won two out of three baseball games played. Winning three would have been better, but two is maybe the best to realistically hope for – especially when Chris Sale in starting one of them and is totally on his game.

Frankly, the Orioles can be glad none of the games went bleeding into extra innings and burning up pitchers even more. As it worked out over the three games, the starters combined for 18 innings, with the bullpen picking up the other nine. That is at least decent.

Perhaps even bigger than getting a win over the Astros and splitting with the White Sox is that Chris Davis has awakened from his slumber – or whatever the heck has been going on. Could this be for the Orioles the baseball equivalent of the famous quote of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, when he said at the end of the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

We all want to think it is the big turnaround. What a difference three games make!

In the 27-hour period of three games, Davis was 4-for-10 with two walks … hitting three homers and a double, while driving in six runs. Perhaps even more impressive was that there were NO strikeouts.

No other Orioles player in the first game of the doubleheader could say that he did not strike out. In fact, the O’s failed to put the ball in play for a total of 16 Ks.  That is amazing. Chris Sale registered 12 of those strikeouts himself. The first three Orioles hitters – Manny Machado, Jimmy Paredes, and Adam Jones – accounted for eight strikeouts in 12 plate appearances. It is difficult to win when that happens!

But again, to answer the question of the title, I don’t know if it is a big turnaround for Davis. Hopefully it is a confidence boost and mega-encouragement for him. A lot of hitting (and none hitting) has to do with what is going on in the brain.

But this much is for sure. When Davis is on his game, the Baltimore Orioles are a totally different and much more dangerous team. We all know that and feel that; and it is why it is so frustrating to watch when he goes through periods of being unable to make contact – walking back to the dugout sort of looking at the sky like he was unsure what just hit him on the head.

Eduardo Rodriguez

Remember the former O’s prospect who was traded to the Red Sox last year for Andrew Miller? He made his MLB debut yesterday, as Boston is really hurting for pitching. Rodriquez performed quite well and got the victory. He went 7.2 scoreless innings against the Rangers, giving up only three hits and two walks while striking out seven. The Sox won the game 5-1.

More from Baltimore Orioles

O’s fans can grieve the loss of a highly-touted young arm for a two-month rental. But this is the stuff that top-tiered teams do to make a run at winning it all.

As I’ve written before, I would have spent the money on Miller (while letting Markakis and Cruz walk, as they did). But it is not my money. And it does not help the O’s bottom line to have only had 18,000 attend the three games against the White Sox. That was the attendance yesterday for the doubleheader, and you will recall that the other game of this series was played with no spectators. More negative fallout for Baltimore from the riots.

Next: Chris Davis - Difference Maker