Baltimore Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis is hitting .263 in his past seven games. That might sound lackluster for a guy who led the league in homers just a few short years ago, but this is Davis about whom we’re talking – his struggles have been well-documented. Certainly Orioles’ starter John Means appreciates his effort this afternoon – especially after a two hour and 45 minute rain delay to even get the game started. Means’ line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
For the record, Means is a keeper for the Orioles in the midst of this rebuild. Granted he’s still inexperienced, however speaking for myself I’m seeing something in him that’s an intangible and hard to find. He has grit, and he doesn’t give in. He’s not afraid to have the ball put in play, which is a quality Orioles fans haven’t seen in a young starter for some time. If he plays his cards right, Means could be the organization’s next great pitcher.
Chris Davis got the Birds started this afternoon with a solo homer in the second inning. Later in the inning Stevie Wilkerson followed suit, and the Birds held a 2-1 lead. The only mistake that Means made was in the third, as Trout smacked a solo homer to cut the Orioles’ lead to 2-1. However Trout is a once in a generation talent, so you all but give him a pass on that. However as I said, Means isn’t afraid to have the ball put in play. His attitude is I’m going to give you everything I have; if you beat me, you beat me.
The good news was that the Orioles as a team didn’t allow that solo home run to beat them. I put it like that because while the O’s never trailed in this game, sometimes something like that can swing a game. The Birds had the intestinal fortitude not to let that happen. They got a two-run homer from Dwight Smith Jr. in the last of the third, and a two-run shot from Pedro Severino in the sixth. This capped off a 5-1 Orioles’ win, salvaging two victories on a tough home stand.
It is noteworthy that Chris Davis is starting to get his stroke back. The fact that he fell as far as he did is still tough to explain. But somehow he seems to be coming out of that elongated slump, which lasted over several seasons. A lot least for now, it appears that’s the case.
I’m not sure that it’s feasible to think that Davis could ever be the feared hitter he was a few years ago once again. Anything’s possible, however that comment has as much to do with age as anything else. But Davis hit cleanup this afternoon for the first time in 2019, and as I said he’s trending upwards. If he can simply be a solid hitter who’s capable of hitting-for-power here and there, that would help the Birds’ offense leaps and bounds.
The O’s now head out on the road and will open a three-game set against New York in Yankee Stadium tomorrow evening. David Hess gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Jonathan Loaisiga. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.