If you watch certain networks and channels exclusively, you might not know who Chris Davis is. However if you live in and around Baltimore and/or you’re a Baltimore Orioles fan, he’s a man that needs no introduction. Many people said going into the season that the Birds might have the chance to have a decent season if Davis could replicate his production of 2012 when he hit a career-high 34 home runs. In yesterday’s win over Detroit, Davis his #25 and 26 respectively. Needless to say, I think he’s going to far outdo his 2012 self.
Chris Tillman ran his record to 8-2 on the season in yesterday’s win, although he didn’t have the dominant stuff that we’ve seen in several past starts. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Tillman wasn’t pretty good; tab this as an “in-between” start. Tillman’s line: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K. Tillman danced in and out of trouble several times during the course of his outing, however when you get the offensive support behind you that he got yesterday that isn’t really a worry. Tillman and Detroit starter Rick Porcello appeared destined for a pitchers duel through three innings, and then we hit the last of the fourth. With one on and one out Davis gave the O’s a 2-0 lead with a monster shot to left field. Taylor Teagarden followed that up with a three-run homer of his own, and suddenly the Orioles led what used to be a pitcher’s duel 5-0. Add on a Machado RBI-single before the inning ended, and that stretched to 6-0.
Tillman allowed one run on an RBI-double in the fourth, and then two more in the sixth after Buck Showalter lifted him. However this had the mark of a true AL East game in that the Orioles didn’t quite feel like they ever wanted to stop scoring. In their three-run seventh inning the Orioles produced a double-steal and a Chris Davis RBI-double which ended up putting three on the board to run the lead to 9-3. Adam Jones‘ two-RBI double in the ninth ran it to 11-3, and the coup de grace from Detroit’s perspective was Chris Davis’ second homer of the day to score Jones and cap off the scoring with the Orioles leading 13-3. Incidentally, I’m not sure that second home run has landed yet.
One thing I found interesting was that Buck Showalter brought in Freddy Garcia to pitch the last of the ninth. I’m not sure if Garcia needed to throw his normal bullpen session and they decided to do it during a game or what, however the fact is that he did it. Pedro Strop also pitched the last of the eighth, and retired Detroit 1-2-3. As I said, inserting Garcia into the game might well have been akin to him throwing a bullpen side session. However his next turn in the rotation was supposed to be Sunday in Toronto. Miguel Gonzalez and Jason Hammel were supposed to start on Friday and/or Saturday respectively, and then Garcia Sunday. All three games are listed with TBD as the starter. Is it possible that Garcia might get optioned back to the minors when Miguel Gonzalez comes back form paternity leave? One way or the other, Garcia’s presence in the game probably saved the Orioles from having to use another reliever.
As for Davis, his 26 homers leads the majors. There are quite a few media members and fans alike that are questioning the honesty of Davis’ numbers in terms of PED’s. It’s not unthinkable that any player could be using something along those lines. However I’ll simply say that in the absence of a positive test or a flat admission, fans need to assume that Davis is not cheating. Reportedly he’s been tested three times already this season at least, testing negative each time. But needless to say the O’s have a bat in the middle of the order who people now fear, and they’re having to make special plans just for facing Davis. The Birds are off today before they open up a three-game series with Toronto at Rogers Centre this weekend tomorrow night.