Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis Is On The Verge Of Making History
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is three at-bats away from breaking an MLB record none of us want to see him break.
To boo, or not to boo, that seems to be the debate among Baltimore Orioles fans as the 2019 season moves along and first baseman Chris Davis remains hitless.
Everyone has an opinion about what is wrong with the former All-Star and how he could fix his problems at the plate, but the truth is, no one has any idea what exactly is going on with Chris Davis, other than Chris Davis.
What we do know is that watching him try to hit a baseball is frustrating, mind-numbing, infuriating, depressing, and a plethora of other adjectives.
It’s been so bad that Davis is now just three hitless at-bats away from breaking the Major League Baseball record for most consecutive at-bats without a hit.
Eugenio Velez was utility man who played five seasons at the major league level for the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. His last career hit came on May 18, 2010, a single against San Diego Padres relief pitcher Joe Thatcher. He would fail to record a hit for the rest of the 2010 season and went 0-37 in 2011 with the Dodgers, the final major league appearances of his career.
Davis’ last hit came back on September 14th in a game against the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards. He went 1-4 that day with a double off White Sox pitcher James Shields. Since then, nothing.
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Davis has started his 2019 campaign by going 0-23 with 13 strikeouts, four walks, and two runs driven in. Three more at-bats without a hit will give Davis a record that would come to define the latter part of his career.
Looking at Baseball Savant, there are a few positives, small positives, but things we can likely point to and say that Davis is due for some successful at-bats.
When he does make contact, he’s hitting the ball with above league average exit velocity and has found the barrel twice in the eight times he has made contact. Baseball Savant credits Davis with a .115 xBA, the expected batting average for Davis based on exit velocity, launch angle, and location.
Go back to the 8th inning of Saturday’s game against the Yankees. Davis came up to bat with bases loaded and two outs. He ripped a 100 mph groundball along the line at first base which was corraled for an out. The xBA on that batted ball was .610.
This isn’t an attempt to make excuses for his .000 batting average or extreme strikeout rate, but to make note that a bit of bad luck has played a role in this current streak. However, at the end of the day, it’s bigger than this current streak. It’s about years of declining performance.
The A’s will send Marco Estrada to the mound on Monday night. Davis is 6-36 all-time against Estrada with three home runs and 12 strikeouts. Let’s hope we don’t see history made on Monday night, if Davis is in the lineup.
The Baltimore Orioles will send Andrew Cashner to the mound as they look to rebound from a three-game sweep by the hands of the Yankees.