Chris Davis has been a topic for the Baltimore Orioles this year for all the wrong reasons. Offensively he’s fallen off the map, although he’s been marginally better since sitting out for eight games. Marginally better. But for the most part his defense has been solid – until today, that is.
The Orioles started Yefry Ramirez, who did what a started is supposed to do; he put his team in a spot to win. He didn’t get the quality start because he didn’t go six innings, however he certainly pitched a quality outing today one way or the other. Ramirez’s line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 4 K. Again, quality start or not, Ramirez mowed ’em down while he was in this afternoon’s Fourth of July game.
The O’s took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Adam Jones split the defense in the power alley in left center, allowing a runner to score from first base. And that lead stood up for a couple of innings. Oriole pitching held Philadelphia in check for the most part in this series. They’re a high-powered team, but the O’s held them in check.
But some things can’t be helped on the part of a pitcher. Ramirez put two runners in scoring position in the last of the fifth with one down. Alfaro grounded a routine ball to Chris Davis at first base. For a split second, that appeared to be a key out for the Orioles. Because the runner at third wouldn’t have been able to advance, and it would have been the second out. The O’s were probably poised to walk the next hitter to get to the pitcher, Nola – which would have been all but a sure out.
However the ball slid under Davis’ mitt at first, and into the outfield. Two runs scored, and Philadelphia took the lead at 2-1. Now as has been said all season, things happen with runners on base and when the ball’s put in play. However that’s a play that has to be made on Chris Davis’ part. This isn’t to say that Davis is now a poor defending first baseman either, because I don’t think that’s the case. I think he made a bad mistake, which led to things going south in this game for the Orioles.
Philadelphia would add a two-run homer by Williams in the last of the seventh, and the O’s never threatened after that. Wins and losses are always a team effort. So again not all of this should be put on Chris Davis. However a mistake like that does tend to stand out, especially when it directly relinquished the lead to the opponent.