Imagine how good Manny Machado will be once he actually settles in and gets comfortable.
Machado is 6-for-16 with a double, triple, three home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored in his first four major league games. He shares the Orioles club record with at least one extra-base hit in four consecutive games to begin his career, joining Ray Knight (1987), Lee May (1975) and Frank Robinson (1966).
Machado hit his third home run today, though it took a review to have a double overturned.
“I put good wood on it,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to go out. I thought it was going to bounce off the fence. I couldn’t see the ball, so I couldn’t really tell.”
Machado is the picture of calm in the clubhouse.
“I’m still young,” he said, almost as if we need a reminder. “I just got called up and I’m just fortunate to be up here. I’m just having fun and trying to help the team win.
“I haven’t settled in yet, but I’m getting there.”
The most difficult adjustment for Machado has been moving to third base.
“That’s a tough position to play,” he said. “I’ve been playing shortstop the whole year. That position is pretty tough, but I’m getting adjusted to it every day. The more I play, I feel more comfortable.”
“I got called up for a reason,” Machado said. “They’re on me every day to go out there and play and have fun and just do what you can do.”
Tommy Hunter may have inadvertently come up with a nickname for Machado.
“Manny’s come in and pretty much sparked it up a little bit,” Hunter said. “He’s been a little spark plug. A big addition.”
Mark Reynolds made some big defensive plays with Hunter on the mound, including the diving stop along the line to end the fourth inning and strand two runners in scoring position.
“He gets those balls,” Hunter said. “It was pretty questionable being fair, if you ask me, but he’s gotten to those balls pretty often. The defense usually slides over more toward the lines when I pitch anyway, and especially with lefties up. He made a good play on it and got up and got him out. Good for him. Tip your cap. Thanks. I’m glad he’s on my team.”
Said Reynolds: “I knew that he (Chris Getz) was getting a little cutter there, so I took a step over toward the line and he just hit it right into where I was playing.
“It hit the bag. It could have hit the lip and bounced the other way. But like I said, I moved over right before the pitch and I just happened to be in perfect position for it.”
Reynolds broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single off Louis Coleman in the sixth inning.
“He has a good slider and I knew that,” Reynolds said. “I knew that was the pitch he was going to try to get me out with. He’s tough. He steps right at you and throws across his body, and I just told myself I had to stay on it and put a good swing if he made a mistake.”
Reynolds is pretty much in a platoon situation at first base with Machado at third.
“It’s what I’ve got to do,” Reynolds said. “It’s the situation I’m in. When I’m in there, I’ll be ready to go.”