Results tagged ‘ Chris Davis ’

Baltimore Orioles fall in home opener

Due to the ongoing situation with the Miami Marlins, the Baltimore Orioles opened their home schedule against New York last night. I suspect that the Birds and starter Asher Wojchiekowski wish it had been Miami they were playing, as New York came out swinging early and hit the O’s hard. Wojchiekowski’s line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 7 K.

Wojchiekowski surrendered a solo homer to LeMahieu in the first at-bat of the game. Solo home runs aren’t going to beat you, but these are the Bronx Bombers. They do more than just one solo shot in the first inning.

They would net another run on Ford’s sac fly-RBI later in the inning. However even though NY was throwing it’s ace, Cole, the O’s battled back. Jose Iglesias‘ RBI-single in the last of the first cut the lead in half at 2-1. But again, the Bronx Bombers don’t just go away. Judge’s solo homer in the third extended their lead to 3-1.

Hicks would smack a two-run homer later in the third, and LeMahieu and Judge would add RBI-singles in the sixth. The thing about teams such as New York is that they don’t really stop adding runs on. I wrote about insurance runs last weekend, and how it was good to see the Birds adding them on. That’s never been a problem for a team like New York.

The O’s did get a two-run homer from Dwight Smith Jr. in the seventh, but again New York kept adding on runs. Even in the ninth inning. When the smoke cleared, they beat the Orioles 9-3.

Perhaps the bigger story was that first baseman Chris Davis wasn’t with the team last night. Manager Brandon Hyde said before the game that he wasn’t available and wasn’t with the team. He was unable to say anything further, which of course naturally makes people think that this is COVID-related.

In the wake of the Miami situation Davis had said that he was more concerned about the situation. Certainly it’s a concern for anyone, but especially a guy like Davis who has young children. He has remained on the active roster, so in terms of him staying with the team that’s a positive sign.

The disjointed series will be “paused” until next week following tonight’s game, and truly finalized next Wednesday night when New York returns to Camden Yards. John Means makes his season debut for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles 2020 Season Preview

This is the first season preview I’ve written for the Baltimore Orioles in late July. But that’s about par for the course in 2020. Opening Day high temperature records are being obliterated this year. And we all know the reason why. But such is the situation in which we find ourselves in 2020.

In March I was planning on predicting that the Birds would take a few steps forward this season. And by that I mean in the win/loss column. The 2019 O’s won 54 games – which was an improvement over 2018. Who knows what the prediction would have been had this year gone off properly. Needless to say however, I can confidently tell you that the 2020 Birds won’t even approach 100 losses. In fact, this will probably be the lowest loss total in franchise history.

It begins and ends with pitching, and that’s a work in progress. Even still however, Oriole pitching was having a decent spring before things shut down. A better spring than I would have expected. So could they be slightly better than advertised? Perhaps. But they’ll suffer a bit at first, with staff ace John Means missing the Opening Day start tonight due to soreness.

More realistically in a sixty-game sprint, the bigger question might be how the middle relief stacks up. How do the Cody Carroll‘s and Richard Bleier‘s of the world faire in games? We’ve already started to see the concept of an “opener” in MLB the past few years. Might we start seeing more out of middle relievers? In a sixty-game season, that might be necessary.

Hitting of course is a big deal also. The O’s will be without Trey Mancini this year of course due to his cancer treatments. Chris Davis had an exceptional exhibition season, and the hope is that he can continue that starting tonight and into the regular season. If the Orioles are going to keep up in games they’re going to need runs and base runners. That also means that the Hanser Alberto‘s, Rio Ruiz‘s, and Anthony Santander‘s of the world will need to have big games as well. Get on base; the runs will come.

This was already going to be another rebuilding year for the O’s. But will it be? We’ve certainly never seen a sixty-game sprint as a season. Could it play to the Birds’ favor? That’s a tough question to answer. So what’s my prediction for 2020? Again, tough question to answer. While most people assume the O’s will finish in the cellar, I don’t think they will. So that’s my prediction – while I don’t think they’ll contend, I do think they’ll stay out of last place.

Opening Day of course is today, and the Birds find themselves in at Fenway Park for the first of a three-game set. Tommy Milone gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles battle but fall in D.C.

The Baltimore Orioles started Kohl Stewart this evening in D.C. for their exhibition finale. He struggled early, but seemed to regain some composure as time went on. This in what started out at least as a fairly lackluster game for both sides. Stewart’s line: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 K.

The Orioles actually started this game in a good way. Hanser Alberto‘s RBI-double in the first inning gave them an early 1-0 lead. The Birds would extend that lead to 2-0 on a subsequent RBI-single by Jose Iglesias.

However Washington came right back against Stewart. Soto played a run on an RBI-groundout, and Kendrick’s RBI-double tied the game at two. But then both Kohl and Washington starter Corbin settled in a bit. And we played on at a 2-2 tie.

Washington would take the lead in the fourth on a fielder’s choice by Kendrick. Two innings later they’d take a 5-2 lead on Castro’s two-RBI single. It appeared that the Birds were probably going to be content playing out this game as a string and heading home. But they didn’t.

One thing I noticed last year was that in August (but much more poignantly in September), this team started to come together. That didn’t necessarily translate into more wins, but the team seemed to come just a bit closer together and want to play hard for each other. That trend seemed to continue into Florida Grapefruit League play earlier this year. And we saw it again tonight.

The Birds weren’t going to go down without a fight. Chris Davis, who’s had a great camp (both in Florida and in Baltimore) led off the seventh with a double to the deepest part of the ballpark. He would score on Dilson Herrera‘s subsequent RBI-triple. He would later score on Rio Ruiz‘s sac fly-RBI.

Washington would tack on another run in the last of the seventh, running the score to 6-4. And then in the eighth inning the skies opened. And that was the end of the game. What can be taken away from this game or from any of the three exhibition games during summer camp? Basically nothing. Onto the regular season.

Baltimore Orioles: We WILL get through this

The fact that the Baltimore Orioles and everyone else is kind of in a holding pattern right now is secondary. For people such as myself who breath this sport and this team (for purposes of this column) 365 days a year, that’s a bitter pill. It isn’t the off season, it’s just…nothing.

But that’s the way it has to be, folks. It just is. Public health is something that’s too important to risk just for the sake of even America’s pastime. Or the NCAA Tournament, and so forth. Orioles’ PA rep Chris Davis spoke yesterday on what the players’ plans are with the start of the season delayed at least two weeks:

I think a lot of it is up in the air. Hopefully, in the next few days, there are going to be more answers to the questions that we’ve had, but right now we’re just in a holding pattern.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Davis went onto say that some players would like to remain and work out at Ed Smith Stadium so as to get ready for the season (which eventually will begin). However it’s unclear if that will be possible or allowed. This truly is an unprecedented situation.

As you may have noticed, I find something to write everyday in the off season. Some days that’s not easy, but I find something – even if only fluff. It just keeps the site “tended to,” and up to date with fresh content. However it doesn’t come off as appropriate for me to do that given the current situation.

So in a sense similar to the league, this column is being put into a holding pattern. If there’s relevant news about the O’s or the league, I’ll report it. That might not come for a week or two, or it could come tomorrow. We just don’t know. Furthermore when things resume, we’ll still have daily coverage of the Orioles and the games – be they exhibition games or regular season.

However I want to leave you with a thought for the time being. We WILL get through this. And I don’t mean the O’s or the league, I mean the country as a whole. And of course the rest of the world. America’s made it through bad situations before, and we’ll do so again this time. If people listen to the authorities, stay home when ill, self-quarantine, etc, the numbers will go down. And before we know it, the screams of PLAY BALL! will be heard at Camden Yards.

Americans are resilient. We always have been. We’ll get through this. I say that as sure as hot dogs at a ballgame. My hope and prayer is that all readers stay safe and healthy during this uncertain period of time.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis and other big wheels keep on turning

Chris Davis smacked his third home run of the spring as the Baltimore Orioles stayed hot and defeated Miami at Ed Smith Stadium. This in a game started by Keegan Akin, who’s looking to make an impression and break camp with the O’s. Keegan’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Davis’ spring has been a major turnaround over his output from the past few years – to this point. It’s still very early in the spring, and yes the games don’t count. However you’d rather see results as opposed to not seeing them. Davis seems to agree (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

It’s nice to see some results. I think I said that earlier. I would like to get off to a good start, just for peace of mind, especially after struggling for the last couple years. Just having some success on the baseball field again feels good. It’s still spring training, it’s still early. There are a lot of things I have to accomplish, a lot of things I want to accomplish and a lot of things I still need to work on, but at the same time it feels good.

With Miami leading 1-0 in the last of the first this afternoon, Renato Nunez‘s RBIsingle toes the game. One inning later Austin Hays, who’s also having a great spring, gave the O’s a 2-1 lead with an RBI-groundout. Núñez would add a sac fly-RBI in that second inning as well, and the O’s led 3-1.

But it was Davis who provided the highlight of that third inning. And of the game. His three-run homer later in the inning opened the game wide open, and gave the O’s a 6-1 lead. The O’s don’t see the Miami Marlins often in the spring for geographic reasons. That’s probably A-okay with Miami.

By the end of the fourth inning they had run the lead to 9-1. This in a sequence that included a solo homer by Pedro Severino. In fairness to Miami, they did cut the lead to 9-5 in the fifth. However the O’s added some insurance runs. Austin Wynns added an RBI-double and Ramon Urias an RBI-single in the sixth. Richard Urena, a guy who also has in mind to break camp with the team, added a solo homer in the last of the eighth.

And with that, the O’s wrapped up a 12-6 victory. (Miami tacked on a solo homer in the ninth.) Again, these games are meaningless, as are the results. But the fact that the O’s continue to look good and are winning these (meaningless) games could bode well.

The Orioles head to Spectrum Field in Clearwater tomorrow to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and Philadelphia has not yet scheduled a starter. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall to Tampa despite a Chris Davis homer

The Baltimore Orioles sent John Means to the mound this afternoon against Tampa for his maiden voyage this spring. He was slated to go two innings, but came out early due to a high pitch count. However it was a typical start against the Tampa Rays. Among other things, Means surrendered a wind-aided triple, an infield hit, and a “normal” single. Means’ line: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K.

Tampa’s notorious for getting guys on base however they can. Sometimes in unorthodox manners. But they get on base. And they get runners in. Following the aforementioned wind-aided triple in the second, Robertson’s RBI-single gave them a 1-0 lead. Brousseau’s RBI-single later in the inning extended the lead to 2-0.

Means was upbeat after coming out, saying that he felt good. In fact, he said he felt “better” than giving up two runs (which came as a result of some wind-aided hits):

In spring training you’re not too worried about results. You’re really just worried about how you feel, how the ball’s coming out, how the hitters are reacting. And I honestly felt really good. I felt like the fastball was there, changeup was there, curveball was there. So yeah, I definitely felt a lot better than the two runs.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Following a ground-rule double in the fourth, Cozens’ RBI-single gave Tampa a 3-0 lead. Again, this is how they do things. They just keep adding on runs. Their runs usually don’t come in buckets, but it’s one here and one there. Today however, they did have a big inning.

And that process continued. Tampa loaded the bases later in that fourth inning, and Lowe cleared them with a wind-aided bases-clearing double. He would later score when Renato Nunez (who got a rare assignment in the first) botched a throw, committing an error. But that error allowed another Tampa score, and the Birds trailed 7-0.

But there was one bright spot for the O’s this afternoon. Chris Davis smacked a solo homer the opposite way in the last of the fourth, cutting the Tampa lead to 7-1. Tampa would immediately come back in the fifth with an RBI-single by Zunino, but I digress. The fact that Chris Davis is homering this early in the spring is a really good sign for the O’s.

Davis put on about 25 lbs in the off season, and he seems to think that as a result he might faire better this year. Going oppo-boppo in his second spring game is a good start to that. He’s also drawn a few walks, which shows he’s working the count.

It’s also worth mentioning regarding Oriole bats…like all team’s they’re behind the pitching. Position players only reported last Monday, so they’re about a week behind the pitchers (and catchers). It’s always worth remembering that in some of these early spring games.

Tampa would tack on several other runs in the later innings, including a three-run homer by Perez. They ended up beating the Orioles 15-2 on the afternoon. (Rylan Bannon homered for the O’s in the last of the eighth.) One of the differences between Tampa and the Orioles is that Tampa has better pitching – top to bottom. However offensively they also take advantage of EVERYTHING that comes their way. If you slip up in some way by leaving a ball up in the zone or something along those lines, their next guy up is ready to make you pay. And again, that’s true top to bottom of their organization.

Blowout losses must have been contagious throughout the organization today, as the Orioles’ B Team seemingly suffered the same fate down at Jet Blue Park against Boston in Fort Myers. The split squad O’s fell to Boston, 12-4. As the saying goes, some days you’re the bug.

The Orioles will remain in Sarasota tomorrow as the Atlanta Braves come to town. Baltimore native Bruce Zimmerman (a non-roster invite to camp) gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Where does Chris Davis fit?

We heard a lot about Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles this off season. Some reports had him changing his workout regiment, and some had him keeping it the same. I would argue that he should change something up given his results the past few years.

But that aside, what are the Orioles’ plans for Davis in 2020? I’ll throw in the fact that there’s always the chance that he could be traded (including this year he has three seasons left on his contract). I think that’s really a long shot at best, but anything’s possible. He’s still a reliable glove at first base; if a team loses it’s first baseman to injury or something along those lines…as I said, anything’s possible.

But assuming he remains an Oriole, they have to have an idea of how they’re going to use him. Last year he didn’t play everyday, however needless to say he was still a “regular” player. Again, he’s a good defensive first baseman. That does mean something.

However the O’s would like to see more production at the plate. And keep in mind, if Davis does get hold of a pitch, it can still travel a long way. However I think at this point the Orioles would take him just hitting over the Mendoza Line. But it’ll be interesting to see how often he’s in the lineup during Spring Training, and at which position.

Baltimore Orioles: Can’t touch Chris Davis when it comes to charity

Chris Davis has become a favorite target among some Baltimore Orioles fans. It’s fair to criticize his performance on the field, and Davis himself would be the first one to tell you that. However there’s one area in which Davis stands above just about anyone else.

It was announced yesterday that Chris and his wife Jill were donating $3 million to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital. The gift is the largest that’s been received by the hospital by a Baltimore sports figure. The hospital intends to use the money to building state-of-the-art facilities that will help to treat children. Davis in a news release:

This is a cause that is close to our hearts. Everyone at the hospital has inspired our family — from the patients and families who show such courage in the face of overwhelming challenges, to the medical professionals and caregivers who dedicate their careers to saving and improving lives.

Quote courtesy of Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun

Davis has consistently worked tirelessly in the Baltimore community since arriving here during the 2011 season. He’s always willing to lend his time and name to anything being done by Orioles Advocates, which is the charity wing of the team. He’s never been anything less than an outstanding example of being a part of a community.

So while it’s fair to question Davis’ grit on the field, he’s always a guy who’s given back. That should mean something to Orioles fans. And the fact is that it isn’t something we hear about enough.

John Means was also announced as a finalist for the American League rookie of the year. It’s an honor that’s well-deserved by Means. Time will tell if he wins.

Baltimore Orioles: Does the Chris Davis deal make the O’s gun shy?

Most people would agree that the Baltimore Orioles stepped in it with the contract they gave to Chris Davis. Let me say up front that I agreed with the Davis deal at the time. With the seasons he had been having, they had to bring him back. Sure there were a few muted voices who said it was a bad idea and that his numbers would taper off, but I thought it was something they had to do – at the time. And they were loudly applauded for keeping him.

That’s something that a lot of people conveniently forget about some of the contracts the Birds have given out – the Davis’ Jimenez’s, etc. of the world. These were deals that the national media lauded when they happened. But nobody’s about to say that now. Hindsight’s always 20/20.

Having said that, there can be no doubt that the Davis contract hasn’t exactly worked out as the Orioles wanted. But as we enter the off season with the World Series being over, does that contract hamper the Birds? And I say that from the sense that it makes me wonder if perhaps ownership might be wary of giving out big deals due to the Davis situation.

And I think that if Peter Angelos were still in charge of the team, that might be the case. While on paper he’s still the owner, Peter’s sons John and Lou appear to be running the show now. Will they be different in this sense than their father?

The answer really lies with GM Mike Elias. He’s the man that John and Lou Angelos have taxed with rebuilding the Orioles into a winner. While owenership obviously needs to sign off on big ticket items, we have to trust that the Angelos sons will defer to Elias. If a deal comes along, hopefully they trust that what Elias is doing is for the best interests of the team – as opposed to stepping in and meddling.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis homers Birds to a win in home finale

Baltimore Orioles’ fans got to see John Means on final time at home this year in the last home game. While we still have a week to go in the season itself, it’s kind of amazing that we’ve now completed 81 home games. Then again, it’s amazing that we’re almost to the end of the line. And Means this afternoon reminded Orioles fans about why he was the biggest surprise of the season. Means’ line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

It’s been a long road in those 81 home games. A lot of bad baseball, learning experiences, and even a dugout fight. However while I shouldn’t get too far into this type of mode given that we still have a week to go, Orioles fans should also be proud. Towards the end, this team really started to come together. And that was the sentiment today.

The O’s did briefly have to play from behind however, as Crawford’s first inning RBI-single gave Seattle a 1-0 lead. But things got tied up fairly quickly; Renato Nunez‘s RBI-double in the last of the first tied the game at one. And there it remained for quite awhile.

The fans were treated to a pitching duel in the final home game. John Means was spectacular in mowing Seattle hitters down. The Orioles really may have found something in Means. Speaking for myself, I’m excited to see him going into spring training next year.

Chris Davis is a question mark heading into spring training however. Many fans seem to think that he’s going to retire, however that would forfeit him a lot of money. He has three years left on his deal. GM Mike Elias said before the game that he expects Davis to be back.

However at least for one day, Davis got to play the hero once again. You have to respect the guy’s work ethic and the fact that he never seems to give up. And it was that never say die attitude which propelled Davis to smack a solo homer in the seventh inning.

That was the go-ahead run, and it propelled the O’s onto victory in the final game at home this season. This is a year that hasn’t been easy on Chris Davis. We all remember the slump in which he started the season. But at least on this day, he directly won the game for his team.

The O’s now embark on their final road trip which will close out the season, as they head to Toronto tomorrow night. The Birds are yet to name a starter, but they’ll face Toronto’s Clay Buchholtz. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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