BOSTON - Chris Davis still had a little shaving cream on his chin when he met with reporters in the cramped visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park. He got a pie in the face and a beer shampoo from teammates helping him celebrate his two scoreless innings that completed a 9-6, 17-inning victory over the Red Sox that won’t soon be forgotten.
Those innings also completed perhaps the most bizarre day in Davis’ professional life.
He went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and a double play. But he also was credited with the win after pitching for the first time since 2006.
“They gave me basically a walk-off win celebration, which I thought was awesome,” he said as teammates still fired barbs in his direction. “I seriously don’t know what happened. I mean, I was just out there trying to throw strikes and not blow the game. A game when everybody’s battling, trying to get a win. Both teams are battling, throwing everything they got at each other. You don’t want to be the guy to blow it.”
Was he nervous?
“No,” Davis replied. “If I was supposed to go out there and succeed and it was my livelihood and I was depending on my paycheck to do it, yeah, probably. But it was late in the game and I just wanted to throw strikes. I didn’t even think about a ball coming back at me until (Ryan) Sweeney hit the ball back to me and then I was thinking, ‘OK, I need to get the ball down or I’m going to get killed’”
At this moment of the interview, third baseman Mark Reynolds sneaked up behind Davis and started the following exchange:
Reynolds: “Did you tell them the words of advice I gave you?”
Davis: “I don’t remember what you said. I just looked at you.” (Davis stares blankly with his mouth open)
Reynolds: “I told you, ‘Throw it down the middle and let’s see what happens.’”
“After the first inning, I was just trying to get it over the plate, and I was like, ‘This is a lot harder than it looks,’” Davis said. “I told myself to start using my legs so I didn’t blow my arm out or anything like that. But in all seriousness, to get a win like that here, to end a road trip like this, it’s huge. Neither team wanted to lose today, especially when it goes to extra innings. I mean, they would have pulled people out of the stands to finish that game. It’s just a huge win for us.”
Davis allowed two hits, walked one and struck out two. He threw 22 pitches, 14 for strikes.
“It was just a huge team effort,” he said. “You can’t say enough about our pitching staff. They’ve kept us in games, some of them we had no business being in. The way they pitched, myself not included, they’ve been picking us up all year.”
Davis had a brutal day at the plate, going 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and a double play, so changing jobs in the 16th inning wasn’t such a bad idea.
“I’m like, ‘Sweet, I get to try something different today because hitting ain’t working,’” he said. “It was a tough day at the plate. I’m like, ‘Seriously, am I going to get another at-bat?’ I kept getting more at-bats and more at-bats. I didn’t feel bad at the plate. I had a couple long at-bats, but I was in a hole trying to get myself out of it on top of trying to break out and do something to break the streak of scoreless innings.”
Davis kept the Orioles’ winning streak alive and started one of his own. He’s now 1-0 as a pitcher.