Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds
Matt Wieters greets Baltimore Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds after his 2-run homer against the New York Yankees. (Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images /August 31, 2012)
When you look back on the Orioles' surprising season, one game stands out. The marathon game against the Boston Red Sox on May 6 was so strange and wonderful that it had a lot of people already wondering if this was going to be 1989 all over again.
The quirkiest thing about that 17-inning victory was the two-inning pitching performance of Chris Davis, who got the victory and also went 0 for 8 at the plate in the first game since 1925 that featured a position player from each team taking the mound. You had to go back even farther -- to 1911 -- to find a game in which a positive player was credited with the victory.
Well, Davis joined some elite company with his three-homer performance on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. He became only the third player in modern baseball history to have a three-homer game and record a victory as a pitcher in the same season, joining Babe Ruth (1930) and war-era pitcher Jim Tobin (1942). Throw in the fact that the two position players-turned-pitchers in the 1925 game were Ty Cobb and George Sisler and Davis is surrounding himself with some real historical baseball royalty.
What a strange and unique week this has become. Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit three homers against the Orioles on Wednesday night, so Davis's performance produced a unique statistical oddity. The O's are the first team in major league history to be involved in back-to-back games in which a player hit three homers.
That would also make it the first time in baseball history that the first guy who hit three homers went on to hit for the cycle on the night that the second guy hit three homers. Beltre is on an unbelieveable tear, with 10 hits and five homers in his 14 at-bats since the start of Wednesday's game against the Orioles.
What does all this mean? Maybe nothing other than the fact that this surprising Orioles season continues to surprise, and we're just a week short of September.
It might not be magic, but it sure has been fun.
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