I remember talking to an Orioles executive at the trade deadline in July.
I asked him about whether they needed another bat, maybe some more power from the right side.
He responded: “If we could get the Mark Reynolds we thought we had, we’d be fine. We just don’t have him right now.”
At the time, Reynolds had eight homers and his streak of three consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs wasn’t just in jeopardy, it was on life support.
He’s hit 12 since, including eight in his last seven games. That includes three multi-homer performances in that span. He had two big ones on Thursday night in the 10-6 win over the Yankees.
“Definitely my confidence is up. I don’t know what I’m doing different now than I was earlier in the season,” Reynolds said. “Just got that home run a couple of weeks ago, and [things] kind of started snowballing for me. I’m playing with a lot of confidence, and so is this whole team. We’re all playing with confidence. We’re having a lot of fun. We’re excited to get the ballpark every day and see what the day holds.”
So can this transformation for Reynolds really be as simple as gaining confidence?
“I'll agree with whatever Mark's saying right now,” Showalter joked.
Reynolds has homered in three straight games. Adam Jones did that this year. Nolan Reimold actually homered in four consecutive games in April.
But Reynolds is the guy who is supposed to be doing this. He’s the guy who hit 37 last year; 44 in 2009 for Arizona.
Now, somehow, he has 20, with just under a month to play. He is scalding hot at exactly the right time. If he keeps this up, those first four-plus months will be forgotten.
“The man can swing the bat,” Jones said. “Everybody struggles, everybody goes through that. He can [get] hot, we only need him to be hot one month. And that’s September. And so far, he’s been good for us.”