Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones, Chris Davis Carry (or Drop) the O’s


Sep 4, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Baltimore Orioles

Chris Davis

(19) and center fielder

Adam Jones

(10) react after a two run home run against Toronto Blue jays in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Like most baseball teams, the Baltimore Orioles are either carried (or dropped) by the performance of the third and fourth hitters in the lineup: Adam Jones and Chris Davis.

On Friday evening against the mighty Toronto Blue Jays, the 3-4 hitters in the O’s lineup carried the Birds to a 10-2 win with Davis hitting a pair of homers and Jones a two-run shot. Combined, they were 4-for-9 with five RBIs.

However, in the 13 games recently in which the Orioles went 1-12, Chris Davis hit .170 with two home runs, while Adam Jones batted .224 with one homer and three RBIs.

So just how much better do these two players hit well (and thereby largely carry the Orioles) in games that are won versus games that are lost? Here are the numbers for this year (prior to last night’s game) for Jones and Davis, along with some of the other primary Orioles batters …

Adam Jones.325.227+ .098
Chris Davis.328.184+ .144
Manny Machado.308.275+ .033
J.J. Hardy.243.194+ .049
Jonathan Schoop.352.241+ .111
Matt Wieters.323.237+ .086
Caleb Joseph.295.201+ .094
Jimmy Paredes.353.194+ .159
Entire team.299.206+ .093

(If it strikes you as odd that I included Paredes in this list, understand that he actually has the fourth-most at-bats for Orioles hitters this year!)

So for the whole team, the difference is 93 points; and both Jones and Davis are higher than this at 98 and 144 points.  To see how these numbers compare to recent years, the following graph shows career stats in wins versus losses for both players, as well as their performance over the past three years (along with the entire team). If only Davis could have had any of the other three years in 2014 besides what did happen, how that could have made a difference!

Adam Jones.322/.237.327/.209 .338/.225 .304/.261 
Chris Davis.289/.212.223/.160 .328/.240 .309/.219 
Orioles Team————.290/.205 .288/.228.270/.214 

The home runs for Davis and Jones were milestones in Orioles history, as reported on the MASN post-game broadcast.

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For Davis who hit his 39th and 40th home runs, he becomes the first Orioles hitter to have more than one season of 40+ home runs. Frank Robinson in the five years after he hit 49 in 1966 never tallied more than 32 in a season (1969). And Eddie Murray’s highest season ever was 33. Boog Powell peaked at 39 and Cal Ripken at 34.

For Jones in hitting his 25th, he becomes only the second Oriole to ever to have five consecutive seasons of 25+.  Cal Ripken had six such seasons consecutively from 1982-1987.

Friday night’s game was very entertaining beyond the fact that the Orioles beat the best offensive team in baseball and a pitcher who entered the game with a 13-2 record.

Ubaldo Jimenez walked six batters but only yielded two runs in 5.2 innings. That is no way to live.

Troy Tulowitzki demonstrated his great athleticism both with great defensive plays and a leap over Matt Wieters who attempted to catch him in a turn of first base due to an overthrow. I would have loved to have him as a hurdler on my high school track team.

Speaking of my high school where I coached (Williamsport, MD), it was a school with a powerhouse history of volleyball state championships. Our girls were great at suckering in the opponents to crowd the net and all leap in an attempt to block a slam, only to have our setter dump the ball gently just over their heads. They told me the play is called a “center dump.”  And that is what Ben Revere looked like he was doing on a Matt Wieters ball at the top of the wall in left-center field. He gently dumped it off his fingertips and over the fence for a homer.

Now, if only the Orioles can play the remaining 28 games the same way!

Next: Seven Orioles who had a good August

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