The Baltimore Orioles have a miserable team, not the worst ever, but certifiably horrific. And in first baseman/designated hitter Chris Davis, they have the worst player in the major leagues over the last two seasons. Not even close.
Unfortunate circumstances brought them colliding into each other during Wednesday’s 14-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.
Let’s start with Davis, that big lug who is hitting .182 with only nine homers and 111 strikeouts in 247 at-bats this season. And that’s after he hit .168 with 16 homers and 192 strikeouts in 470 at-bats in 2018. And that was after the Orioles signed him to a seven-year, $161 million contract before the 2016 season after he somehow hit 47 homers (with 208 strikeouts) in 2015.
You get the feeling by now the Orioles coaching staff and Davis’ teammates understand he’s one of the weights dragging them down in the AL East again. He can’t hit. He hasn’t been able to hit for two seasons. Earlier this season, he set a Major League record by going hitless in 54 consecutive at-bats, a streak dating to last September. Any questions?
Well, in the bottom of the fifth inning television cameras caught a glimpse of Davis getting into it with Orioles rookie manager Brandon Hyde after he was yanked for a pinch-hitter. Davis tried to run Hyde down in the tunnel of the dugout. Knowing him, he would have swung and missed if they came close.
“It was just a disagreement that we had in the dugout,” said Hyde after the game. “What was said and what we talked about, I’m not going to get into. We’re going to keep it in house, and it’s private. It’s something that happens sometimes, and frustration boils over a little bit when we’re not playing our best baseball the last couple of games. Unfortunately, I’m embarrassed it was caught on camera and people had to see it, but sometimes those things happen.
“We had words, and I took him out of the game. Me and Chris have a good relationship and these things happen in competitive environments and it’s something that’ll pass and we’ll get through it, but it’s unfortunate that it happened in the dugout.”
Whatever was said, whatever precipitated the explosion, must have been pretty entertaining because Davis had to be restrained by Mark Trumbo and the team’s hitting coach.
Perhaps the conversation went something like this:
Hyde: “Get a freaking hit for once in your life. We’re paying you enough. Maybe just try to make contact. We’d settle for that.”
Davis: “You hurt my feelings.”
Trumbo tried to explain it away:
“There was obviously a little bit of a disagreement. I think this game was particularly tough,” he said. “Almost nothing went our way. So I think that everybody was pretty frustrated, and those things, they tend to happen. Hopefully, they don’t happen in front of everybody, but in this case, it kind of did. Not ideal, but not that big a deal.”
Sure Mark. Thanks for that.
The Yankees completed a three-game sweep during which they clubbed 16 homers off the Orioles staff and outscored them 32-12. And Aaron Judge didn’t even have one of the belts.
Baltimore, which is 2-13 and 0-10 against the Yankees at home this season, has now allowed 52 homers (43 in Camden Yards) to the Yankees in the 15 games, a Major League record for most home runs allowed to one opponent in a season. And they still have four games to play at Yankee Stadium.
Now let’s talk a little more about that Orioles pitching staff. They allowed five more homers to the Yankees on Wednesday. Allowing homers is its specialty.
Previous to this season, the record for most homers by one team against an opponent was 48, set, of course, by the Yankees in 1956 against the Kansas City Athletics, the Bad News Bears of the 1950s.
The record-breaking 49th homer came in the top of the fifth inning, when Gio Urshela hit a two-run shot. Urshela also homered in the sixth. Catcher Kyle Higashioka, just recalled from Triple-A to replace the injured Gary Sanchez, went yard in the fourth and ninth innings and Cameron Maybin ended the barrage with a 436-foot solo shot in the ninth.
The Yankees have 17 players who have hit a least one homer against the Orioles this season and 11 with multiple homers in one game. And that’s a new record, breaking the one set by the San Francisco Giants against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1958.
As for the Yankees 10-0 record at Camden Yards, the Elias Sports Bureau tells us its the 14th time in MLB history that a team has gone 10-0 or better on the road against an opponent and the first time since the 2002 Red Sox went 10-0 at Tampa.
Just on Monday, the Yankees had set a record by hitting their 32nd homer at Camden Yards this season – the highest total by a visiting team at any stadium in one season, breaking the record of 29 held by the 1957 Milwaukee Braves in Cincinnati.
Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres, who didn’t even play Wednesday because of an injury, has hit 10 of his 23 homers this season against the Birds. Nine of Sanchez’ 24 have come against Baltimore. And Cliff Frazier, who is currently in the minor leagues, has hit six of his 11 dingers against the Orioles.
Get this: The Orioles staff leads MLB by already allowing 234 home runs, 34 more than the Seattle Mariners. They are on pace to finish the season with 332 homers, mangling the record of 258 held by the 2016 Reds.
“It sucks,” said Hyde. “It shows you how long we have to go, one, to be a competitive team in the AL East, to have the pitching to compete. Their guys are just way better than our guys.”