Chris Davis took a called third strike in the eighth inning last night and looked like a man whose head was about to explode. He clearly was no fan of plate umpire Laz Diaz’s magical mystery strike zone.
Davis sat in the dugout and fumed, his eyes attempting to burn a hole through Diaz and anyone in his path. Then, he stood up and walked down the tunnel, his exit captured by one of MASN’s cameras.
Maybe he wanted to collect his thoughts. Maybe he wanted to rearrange the bat rack.
Davis went 1-for-4 and struck out twice. He still hasn’t homered since the All-Star break, going 7-for-32 with 15 strikeouts.
Davis has fanned at least once in 20 straight games, the longest streak in the majors.
Is there something different about his swing? His approach at the plate? The way he’s being pitched?
Is manager Buck Showalter seeing any of the above?
“Not really,” Showalter said. “It just happens. They’ve been pitching him tough and he’s not quite ... There are a couple things, obviously, that are a little bit different. Otherwise, he’d do it every time up.
“It’s a very hard thing to do, the timing of hitting certain pitches and things. That’s what made it so remarkable, the clip he spoiled us at. Chris will be a productive hitter for us again. He’s been playing first base for us real well and he continues to play hard.”
Need an example?
“He hit a four-hopper to the third baseman the other night, when he’s having a tough game, and the guy threw wildly because Chris ran it out,” Showalter said. “That’s the things I look for. The other things will come and go, but when all is said and done, Chris will be a productive hitter for us.”
The Orioles are now 40-28 at night, 20-14 in the first game of a series, 38-20 when scoring first, 47-20 when scoring four runs or more, 47-35 when homering, 37-12 when outhitting their opponents, 46-15 when recording at least as many hits as their opponents and 56-42 when committing one or no errors.
Study up, because there will be a quiz later.
Ryan Dempster starts tonight for the Red Sox, which isn’t music to J.J. Hardy’s ears. More like a piercing siren.
Hardy is 2-for-30 lifetime against Dempster. That’s hard to do.
Manny Machado is 3-for-10 with two doubles against Dempster. We’re still waiting for his first double since July 6.
Machado does lead the majors with 135 hits. And he’s homered twice in the last four games.
Mike Napoli is 11-for-23 with two homers and six RBIs against Scott Feldman, who starts tonight for the Orioles. David Ortiz is 2-for-6 with two homers and seven RBIs. Dustin Pedroia is 5-for-9, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 2-for-4 with a double and home run.
Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on “Wall to Wall Baseball” today from noon-2 p.m. on MASN.