One of the great things about baseball is how a player's fortune can change in the time it takes to play nine innings, how redemption is sometimes just a swing away.
Before Monday's game, Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis — the 2013 MLB home-run king — was benched because of his 6-for-55 slump. Davis didn't even try to object to the decision, saying "Physically [I'm fine]. It’s probably because I’ve been sucking lately." Well, his batting average had slipped from .256 to .216 in the past month.
Fast-forward a few hours. The Orioles were down 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the ninth. The O's had two runners on after Steve Pearce singled and Adam Jones was hit by a pitch. When Nelson Cruz struck out, manager Buck Showalter called upon Davis to pinch hit.
In a moment of redemption so perfect, you'd think it was orchestrated, Davis came out and belted the game-winner into the right-field stands, a 3-2 slider from Ronald Belisario that was destined to be a souvenir the second it left the bat. Ball game, Orioles, 6-4.
Davis said afterward, via CSN Baltimore:
“It’s good. Any time you’re able to deliver and come through for your team, it’s big. Like I said earlier today, I’m working as hard as I can to get back on track, doing everything I can and just knowing that as long as I continue to work, the results would be there."
That was the bookend of this pre-game quote from Davis:
“Mentally, I’ve been in the same place all year. It’s frustrating to struggle, but nobody’s going to feel sorry for you. You go up there and get your work on and trust the results are going to be there."
Something tells us Davis is going to trust himself a bit more at the ballpark Tuesday.
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