Down the Stretch (Sept. 27)

Chris Davis follows through after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning Wednesday.

[Down the stretch is a daily Orioles Insider blog that will set up the coming day for the O's and their American League competition as the push for the postseason continues.]

About last night

O's match team record with 7 homers in 12-2 win
J.J. Hardy plays through pain in throwing hand
Wolf out for season with ulnar collateral tear
Showalter: Hammel could pitch in postseason
Deion Sanders hangs out with Orioles pregame
Veteran Bill Hall called up, takes Wolf's roster spot
Wednesday's win in photos
Wednesday's full scoreboard


AL East Standings

NYY       90-65     --
BAL       89-67    1.5
TB         85-70    5

AL Wild-Card Standings

BAL          89-67      --
OAK         88-67         --
LAA          86-69      2
TB            85-70      3
CWS         82-73      6

Today's game


Other games that matter


Royals (Mendoza) at Tigers (Fister), 1:05 p.m.

Athletics (Blackley) at Rangers (Harrison), 2:05 p.m.

Mariners (Iwakuma) at Angels (Haren), 3:35 p.m.

Yankees (Nova) at Blue Jays (Morrow), 7:07 p.m.

Rays (Shields) at White Sox (Peavy), 8:10 p.m.

Thought of the day

With so many unsung heroes contributing to the Orioles' improbable run, it almost gets lost how well Chris Davis has swung the bat this season.

Everyone knew he had power from his early days with the Rangers, but in 199 at-bats as a part-time player with Texas and the O's last year, he had just 5 homers. That's one every 39.8 at-bats.


After crushing two last night, Davis has 28 home runs this season in 494 at-bats -- or one ever 17.6 ABs.

It lends credence to the theory that all he needed was regular playing time, but even that pulls you away from the fact that he's improved quite a bit as a hitter.

Consider this nugget from ESPN Stats and Information: "The Blue Jays threw Davis nine sliders [Wednesday night], which seemed like a smart strategy going into the game, as he was hitting just .176 in at-bats ending in sliders this year. That includes a 1-for-17 stretch in his previous 45 games.

Davis clubbed two sliders over the fence Wednesday, a career first for him against that pitch."

Davis is one of those country strong guys who can turn batting practice into an event and distribute souvenirs onto Eutaw Street like no other Oriole. But he actually seems to be at his best when he takes what the pitcher is giving him and uses the whole field.

He's certainly done that this September, batting .317 (his best average of any month this season) with 5 homers.

Davis' pitching victory against the Red Sox will always remain one of the great highlights of the season. Heck, if they make the playoffs by a single game, who won't point back to that one?


But let's not overlook his entire body of work (.267, 28 homers, 77 RBIs) and what it's meant for the Orioles.

Inside the enemy clubhouses

Bruised foot sidelines Alex Rodriguez

Tigers' Scherzer will miss today's start

A's set a record for striking out, but beat Texas

Torii Hunter rides 'adrenaline' to huge second half


Former Rays hero Dan Johnson awaits in Chicago

Tweet of the night

: Words can't describe the feeling I just had thanks everyone for all the support.

(Hoes got his first major league at-bat in the bottom of the 8th Wednesday night and played in the outfield in the 9th. He had debuted as a pinch-runner the previous night.)

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