Sunday, May 6, 2012
What a day for former Ranger Chris Davis
By Richard Durrett
BALTIMORE -- Sunday was a crazy day for Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis.
The former Ranger, who is having a good season, was 0-for-8 with five strikeouts in the 17-inning affair at Fenway Park. But Davis was forced to pitch in the 16th inning and pitched a scoreless frame, which included a strikeout of former Rangers teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Orioles took the lead in the top of the 17th as outfielder Darnell McDonald was forced to pitch for the Red Sox.
Davis was able to close out the game, helping the Orioles recover after they weren't able to hold an early 5-0 lead. Davis even struck out Adrian Gonzalez, who came up as the tying run in the bottom of the 17th, with a nice changeup. He then got McDonald to hit into a double play. Davis, who pitched in high school, gets his first big league win.
Baltimore is now 19-9, one game better than the two-time defending AL champion Rangers. But Baltimore now comes into the four-game series with Texas with a pitching staff that is going to be tired.
Seven relievers, including closer Jim Johnson, pitched in the game. Four of them -- Pedro Strop, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom and Johnson -- pitched two innings. Six of the relievers threw more than 20 pitches. So Baltimore will have a tired bullpen as the series begins. That should give the Rangers a bit of an advantage (not to mention the Orioles still have to travel back from Boston tonight, while the Rangers had a head start coming to Baltimore).
UPDATE: Some numbers for you from ESPN Stats & Information on Davis and the 17-inning game:
* Davis is the first position player to pitch and get the win since Wilson Valdez, 2011 Phillies, the first in the AL to do it since Rocky Colavito of the 1968 Yankees.
* FROM ELIAS: Davis is the first player to go 0-for-8 in a game in which he also pitched since Leon Cadore went 0-for-8 in a game in which he pitched 26 innings (yes, 26) for the Brooklyn Robins against the Boston Braves, on May 1, 1920 (the teams played a tie game).
* FROM ELIAS: The last player to go 0-for-8 and be the WINNING pitcher in a game was Hall-of-Famer Rube Waddell, who was 0-for-8 and pitched a 20-inning complete game for the 1905 Philadelphia Athletics against the Red Sox on July 4, 1905.
* Davis is the first pitcher to win a game in which he struck out five times as a hitter since Ted Lilly in 2008 with the Cubs.