By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
7:08 PM EDT, May 15, 2012
First baseman Chris Davis was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday with lefty CC Sabathia on the mound.
That alone probably is enough to sit the slugging left-hander, who is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Sabathia.
But Davis has also been in a deep slump. Counting his 0-for-8 performance in Boston on May 6 – the 17-inning game in which he picked up a win by throwing two scoreless innings – Davis has just three hits in his past 28 at-bats, dropping his average from .326 to .274.
He said he doesn’t think the pitching performance put him in a funk, but that 0-for-8 certainly didn’t help.
“There are some days you go out there and you don’t feel like your best stuff sometimes going into the box,” Davis said. “That Sunday was one of those days, and usually you only get four at-bats on those days. I happened to get eight. And a lot of times, that can work against you.”
Since then, Davis said, he’s been getting himself out, swinging at bad pitches out of the zone.
He can live with hitting slumps – that’s part of the game -- but what’s really bothered him is that he feels he hasn’t played well defensively. That sense was punctuated Monday when he made a key error at first base on a sharp grounder he should have fielded that allowed the Yankees to tie the score in a game New York eventually won. He was focused on trying to turn a double play and failed to catch the grounder first.
“I can’t be making errors like I made last night,” Davis said. “If you’re not swinging the bat well, you’ve got to bring something else [to the field].”
Overall, Davis said, he doesn’t feel like he has played a good first base this year – and that he must get better.
“It bothers me because I know my reputation over here, coming from the Rangers, was a guy who could really pick it defensively. And I haven’t had the greatest year defensively,” said Davis, who has made three errors and also failed to scoop several other catchable throws. “A lot of it has to do with the new infield, the new infielders, just getting to know these guys. I played with Texas for five years. I’ve put in a lot of hard work, and it’s still not translating on the field. But I think it’s just one of those things where you’ve just got to keep grinding it.”
Said Orioles manager Buck Showalter about Davis: “I think he is disappointed with himself because he knows he is better.”
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