Chris Davis had a pretty good view of the play. There was one out in the top of the ninth last night, with his club nursing a one-run lead, when speedy Desmond Jennings hit a slow roller toward third. Manny Machado charged in, made a barehanded pickup and then a quick and accurate throw to first.
The kid made another tough play look very easy and he looked so smooth in doing so. Some said it was a Brooks Robinson-like play.
“He never ceases to amaze me,” Davis said of Machado and that play. “I mean Jennings top-spun and came around that ball, which means the ball is going to cut away from Manny as he is running in towards it, so you have to get your body in the position to barehand it and still make a throw on a guy who runs pretty well. It was a special play.
“Plus J.J. (Hardy) on the play before that. Going up the middle and throwing across his body. That is the reason we have so much confidence in our defense.”
Davis said Machado’s low-key nature and maturity seemingly beyond his years have helped him in his first 64 games as a major league player.
“That is a telltale sign early for a young player,” Davis said. “How does he handle adversity and how does he handle success? Some guys that come up let success get to their heads and it turns into something I don’t think they want to be. But Manny is very humble. Some of that is also the environment he is in here. We hold him accountable and he holds himself accountable.”
Meanwhile Davis, even without a homer or RBI over his past four games, continues to lead the American League or is tied for the league lead in homers, RBIs, slugging and OPS.
He said he has noticed adjustments being made in how he is being pitched in recent games and he was walked twice here last night.
“I noticed it on the road a little bit too. It kind of opened my eyes a bit yesterday when they intentionally walked me after I had swung at three pitches in the dirt my second at-bat. I have to remind myself that there will be times this year I may only get one, maybe two pitches to hit an at-bat and that may be the only pitches I see all game to do something with. It started Sunday night in New York. I was over-aggressive and they used it against me. It’s frustrating to get yourself out when you can pass the baton,” Davis said.