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Chris Davis goes 0-for-8, gets the win in 17-inning game

May 6, 2012, 7:46 PM EDT

Chris Davis AP

It wasn’t pretty, but in many ways, Chris Davis had the most remarkable day on a baseball field that I can ever remember.

Starting at DH for the Orioles, Davis fanned in his first five at-bats, hit into a double play in his sixth and grounded out in his seventh before moving to the mound to pitch scoreless 16th and 17th innings and picking up a win in a 9-6 game against the Red Sox.

Davis very nearly took the loss in the 16th, but Marlon Byrd was gunned down at home plate on Mike Aviles‘ double with two outs. The Red Sox then turned to a position player of their own in the 17th, and Darnell McDonald surrendered a three-run homer to Adam Jones, giving the Orioles a 9-6 lead.

After Jones’ homer, Davis grounded out, making him 0-for-8 on the day.

The bottom of the 17th started with an infield single off Davis’ glove and a Dustin Pedroia walk, but Adrian Gonzalez struck out on three pitches to put a cap on his own 0-for-8 day and McDonald grounded into a double play to end it.

Davis became the first position player to win a game since Philadelphia’s Wilson Valdez got a victory in the 19th inning of a game last May 25. Before that, the last to do it was Rockies catcher Brent Mayne in 2000.

Davis started his outing showing a 90-91 mph fastball, but he quickly faded into the mid-80s in the 17th. Of course, it still worked out for him. McDonald was sitting in the 81-83 mph range in his inning of work.

Despite having three opportunities, Davis managed to avoid picking up his sixth strikeout. He could have been just the eighth player to reach that mark (dating back to 1918) and the first since Milwaukee’s Geoff Jenkins in 2004.

  1. CrimsonTribe - May 6, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    He also struck out 2 guys, one of whom was named Adrian Gonzalez.

    • baseballisboring - May 6, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      The Saltalamacchia strikeout was actually more impressive. He was still hitting 90 in that inning, and the pitch he struck him out on was a pretty legit changeup.

  2. charmcityhasnonegoravensanyway - May 6, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    best record in MLB. go orioles

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    You almost wish he could have pitched one more inning. Then he would have made the same number of outs on both sides of the ball.

    I think the fantasy baseball play is to pick up whichever pitcher opposes these two teams tomorrow. They must be spent (especially the Sox, getting whupped again by Baltimore in such fashion).

    • randomdigits - May 6, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Baltimore gets to face Texas with a burned out pen and Matusz starting.

      • rarson - May 6, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        Matusz had a great outing last time.

      • randomdigits - May 6, 2012 at 9:21 PM

        Last two actually. But he doesn’t go deep even when he pitches well.

      • rarson - May 7, 2012 at 4:06 AM

        Meh… I’m not too worried. He went over 6 innings his last outing, which isn’t bad, and the bullpen isn’t that burned out. Buck didn’t push any of the relievers particularly hard (pretty sure they all pitched two innings or less, and a couple of those innings were fairly low in pitch count). We’ve got a couple guys that could pitch tomorrow and could always bring someone else up if necessary.

        The way Buck played this game, he knew what he was doing and had it planned well before the start of the 16th inning. In fact, I think the coaching might have been the biggest difference between the two teams in this game. Seems telling that Buchholz was yelling at Valentine when he was pulled.

  4. Loose Changeup - May 6, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Both pitchers who got the decision played at DH today. Davis was throwing 89 mph strikes, and McDonald was throwing 82 mph balls.

    Davis and Cody Ross each had 5K

    Davis and Gonzales both went 0/8.

    Each team used 9 pitchers

    What a weird game.

    • baseballisboring - May 6, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      Well, I really wanted the Red Sox to pull it out since I’m a Sox fan…but that game was so ridiculously weird and awesome that I almost don’t care…almost.

  5. leerosenthall - May 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was fan-freakin-tastic. Anybody who thinks baseball is boring isn’t paying attention.

    • jwbiii - May 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      It’s a wonderful game, ain’t it?

  6. goskinsvt - May 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    That was easily one of the most ridiculous pitching battles (ridiculous as in ridiculous, not as in good) of the last 20 years.

  7. 52ismycopilot - May 6, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    What a game..glad we won!! Go O’s!!

  8. randygnyc - May 6, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Very entertaining. Hardy had 5 hits, including 2 hrs and threw out a runner, at the plate in the bottom of the 16th. Wow.

    Davis hasn’t pitched since HS. Oriole announcer said, “well, I guess he’s rested”. Lmao.

    • ihps247 - May 7, 2012 at 1:54 AM

      “Hardy……………….threw out a runner, at the plate in the bottom of the 16th. ”

      When I saw that, I said to myself, “wasn’t this play similar to last season’s final game when they got Scutaro out at home plate.”

      Deja Vu when that play happened! :)

  9. uyf1950 - May 6, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    While Davis’s 0-8 day at the plate ended on a very positive note. Adrian Gonzales’s 0-8 day did not. The Orioles deserve all the credit in the world for this series sweep and considering it took place in Fenway probably made it all the sweeter.

  10. rarson - May 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Our bullpen is so good, our DH has an ERA of 0.00. :P

    But seriously, that game was freaking incredible.

    • mississippimusicman - May 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Yes, but today he was batting like a pitcher too…

      • rarson - May 7, 2012 at 4:08 AM

        Not like last year’s O’s pitchers (the at bats they had were pretty good, a number of hits and some home runs).

  11. adocdizzle - May 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    First sweep for the O’s at Fenway since ’94, its a great day in birdland!!

  12. bmorethansteel - May 6, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Saltalamacchia actually struck out on split-finger fastball with downward movement due to lack of velocity. Sick pitch though.

    • catswithbats - May 7, 2012 at 6:40 AM

      I think Gary Thorne (or maybe it was the color commentator) called them split-changes. I wonder how many position players have a splitter/split-change in their back pocket.

  13. ultimatecardinalwarrior - May 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    I’m confused. So he pitched the 16th and 17th yet went to bat in the Orioles’ half of the 17th? As primarily an NL watcher, I thought that the pitcher didn’t bat in the AL. What gives?

    • randomdigits - May 6, 2012 at 9:04 PM

      He was the DH.

    • rarson - May 6, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      He was already hitting as DH. Baltimore effectively forfeited the DH position when he became the pitcher.

  14. storebrandcookies - May 6, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Just watched the highlights. That was a pair of good looking strikeouts on Salty and Gonzalez on what it looked like change ups.

  15. quonce - May 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Classic!

  16. whittle79 - May 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    What a game !!

  17. DJ MC - May 7, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    There have been a lot of years recently where this performance would bring up serious questions about putting him in the bullpen. Fortunately, the Orioles this season are winning in part with an excellent group of relievers.

    I remember listening to the radio as a child, spending the night at my grandparents, when Jeff Tackett pitched the ninth inning of a blowout loss for the Orioles. There is something about a position player forced (or asked, in other cases) to pitch that sticks in the memory.

    Especially when they strike out Adrian goddamn Gonzalez.

  18. ihps247 - May 7, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    That game was the most exciting, nail biting, odd, and just outright crazy game I’ve seen played. Proud of my O’s. This will be a game I won’t forget overnight!
    Proud. Just proud. :)

  19. hardjudge - May 7, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    Guess the O’s have figured out why the Rangers gave them Davis. Maybe he should consider pitching all the time, hitting is not really his thing.

    • rockthered1286 - May 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      .299, 5 HR, 14 RBI- and the hr’s and rbi’s you take into consideration he’s not an everyday guy (most but not every).
      But like you said. What a terrible line.

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