Last night was the perfect example of the good and the bad.
In the first inning, with the bases loaded, he grounded into a rally-killing double play. Considering he was 7-for-55 (.127 average) in his career with the bases loaded, it wasn’t that surprising. Although the crazy thing, at least according to baseball-reference.com, is that was the first time he has ever hit into a double play with the bases loaded.
When he came back to the dugout, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he approached Reynolds.
“That’s one of the challenges you face up here, being mentally tough. I patted him on the back when he came in between innings. And I said, ‘You’ll get another big at-bat here, so let’s go.’ And he was up to the challenge.”
In the third he came up with the bases loaded again. This time he doubled to left to give the Orioles a lead they never relinquished.
In the ninth, Reynolds struck again, this time with a towering 426-foot, three-run homer that nearly landed in the Royals’ Hall of Fame building. He ended up tying his career high with five RBIs.
Said Royals manager Ned Yost about Reynolds: “He drove in the first two runs with a double on a pitch that caught too much of the plate. He’s an all-or-nothing guy. He’s a guy you can strike out, but if you make a mistake, he’s going to hit it a mile. That’s what he did in the ninth.”
Reynolds is now batting .224 with a team-leading 24 homers and 60 RBIs, second only to Adam Jones. Reynolds also leads the team in doubles (20), walks (58) and is on pace to hit roughly 37 homers.
He is what was advertised offensively. Maybe even better than advertised.
Yes, the defense is hard to watch at times. But if he hits 37 homers, he would tie for 10th overall in Orioles’ history for homers in a season.
And that would be hard to complain about.