Buck on Markakis: "He'll be there."

With a batting average of at least .293 and OPS of at least .801 the last four years, it is a little strange to see Nick Markakis currently batting .208 with an OPS of .591.

But he will take those numbers over 20 games and 77 at-bats into the Boston series that starts tonight here at Camden Yards.

Manager Buck Showalter said you can't take it for granted when a slumping player says "my numbers will be there in the end," but even Showalter said when it comes to Markakis, that will be true.

"If you could walk a day in their shoes and see all the stuff that goes on, and the way you feel for them when they're putting all that effort into it," Showalter said. "Sometimes you want something too much. But Nicky's not going to broadcast it. He's just going to do it because it's part of the job description. He'll be there, he'll be there.

"It's not hard to keep the faith, to keep confidence in a guy like Nick. It's not hard for me at all, especially when you see the preparation and the things he does to try to get back there. He will."

Markakis, who went 2-for-9 against New York, is batting just .139 (5-for-36) with just one multi-hit game over his past nine games. He is actually batting .208 on the season against both left- and right-handed pitching and is just 3-for-16 so far when hitting with runners in scoring position.

Is he among the least of Showalter's worries?

"I don't assume anything and take anything for granted," Showalter said. "I know how hard it is to do what these guys do for a living. It's a hard game to play. You just can't nonchalantly go out there and will it to happen, and say, 'My numbers will be there.' I hear somebody say my stats will be there at the end of the year - really? Nick's not one of those guys. He wants it to happen every day, every at-bat, every swing, and when it doesn't, he wants to know why."

Showalter paused, then added.

"But his numbers will be there."

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