Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis and the walk off rocking the yard


The crassest of the crass will argue that the Baltimore Orioles having to walk off against a team like Oakland (this time on a Chris Davis homer) for the second consecutive night will argue that indicates doom for the Birds. They always have to rely on the home run, right? Yes, in a sense. However at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the quality of the opponent or how the game itself ebbed and flowed. If the scoreboard has you ahead, you’re a winner.

This was not an easy start for Miguel Gonzalez. He labored, struggled, and nearly had the game blown open on him. Yet he battled and scuffled, refusing to break. Gonzalez’s line: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 5 K. That goes down as a quality start, and Gonzalez should be lauded for staying tough and laboring through. 

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Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles
Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles /


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  • Billy Burns hit a lead off triple on the second pitch of the game, and one pitch later he scored on Mark Canha‘s fielder’s choice-RBI. But the O’s found themselves in an immediate hole, which expanded to a 2-0 deficit after Sam Fuld‘s solo homer in the third. Later in that same inning, Josh Reddick sent a solo home run of his own into the seats, and the Birds were suddenly behind by the score of 3-0.

    But at it’s core, this game was between a team that’s very much in contention and a team that’s been playing out a string for some time. The Orioles weren’t going to drop this game if they could avoid it – not if the key players on the team had anything to say about it. In the last of the fourth the Birds got on the board in a big way. With one out and a runner at first in the form of Gerardo Parra, Chris Davis sent another home run towards Eutaw St, and the Orioles suddenly had cut the lead to 3-2.

    However after a single, a stolen base, a passed ball, and a couple of walks, Oakland had the bases loaded in the fifth. Gonzalez was hoping for a shutdown inning following his team giving him a couple of runs, but it appeared not to be happening. Billy Butler came to the plate for Oakland, and grounded a slow roller to Manny Machado at third; Machado relayed to Jonathan Schoop at second, who didn’t handle the ball cleanly (after recording the out). However Schoop double-pumped the ball, and still got Butler at first base.

    That double-play might have been the biggest play of the game. Oakland had an opportunity to break the game wide open with the bases loaded. And this was as much about scouting reports as it was about execution on the field. Schoop appeared not to have the proper grip on the ball after recording the first out, but had the foresight to know Butler didn’t run well. So that gave him the opportunity to pull back and ensure a proper throw, with the confidence of knowing he still had a decent shot at getting Butler at first base. And one inning later in the sixth, the Birds had tied the game as Gerardo Parra’s shot barely made it over the scoreboard in right for a home run.

    There isn’t enough that can be said however about Gonzalez’s gritty effort, and the way he hung in the game. The O’s don’t win this game if he folds up and goes home. But he showed the bulldog mentality that he had last year, and he put the team in a spot to win. After a solid eighth by Darren O’Day, Zach Britton appeared to be on a mission in the ninth. Due to things that were out of his control, he blew his second save of the season last night. And he wasn’t fooling around this evening as a result, giving the Orioles a quick 1-2-3 top of the ninth. 

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    But at the end of the day, in games

    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    like this it only takes one play – for the home team, that is. Good guys bat last, remember?! Oakland’s Pat Venditte, a “switch-pitcher,” recorded the first two outs in the inning fairly quickly. He switched around and pitched as a southpaw to Chris Davis who came up with two outs and nobody on. Davis has actually hit lefties fairly well this year, and tonight was going to be no exception…

    …on a 2-2 pitch, Davis sat on a fastball. This was much like Machado’s 13th inning at-bat last night, and in both cases the batter got the fastball for which he was looking. The ball came in a bit high, so Davis let it fly…all the way into the stands. With his second homer of the game, Davis had walked the Orioles off as winners for the second straight night against Oakland.

    One might argue that the O’s are coming on strong at just the right time. Toronto fell to NY earlier today, but the fact is that with those two teams playing each other something is going to give – so the O’s are picking a good time to win some games. However it was very much an electric, October-like atmosphere at the yard tonight. The concept of Orioles Magic is very much back at the yard – if it ever left to begin with. Orioles Magic isn’t so much about winning games as it is the manner in which the games are won. And the past two nights have been prime examples of it.

    The series continues tomorrow afternoon, with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Kendall Graveman of Oakland. Game time is set for just after 1:35 this afternoon.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones keep it professional after no-no

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