So many kids dream of becoming professional baseball players, yet only a small percentage ever make it the big leagues. And of those lucky enough to get drafted and make it into the majors, only a small percentage retire from the game with their name in the record books. Baltimore Orioles‘ first baseman Chris Davis is now getting his name written the annals of history, but it’s safe to assume that breaking the record for the amount of consecutive hitless at-bats is not how he’d imagine it would go down.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again,” Davis said. “I understand the frustration. Nobody’s more frustrated than I am.”
Facing Oakland A’s pitcher Marco Estrada, he went 0-2, tying the record of former Dodger’s player, Eugenio Velez. The infielder struggled though 46 hitless at-bats between 2010 and 2011. But Davis stepped up to the plate one more time on Monday night, and Estrada pitched a 104 mph ball his way and clocked another out for his team. Davis now officially holds the MLB record of consecutive hitless at-bats at 0-47.
While those kinds of lackluster stats usually mark the end of one’s baseball career as it did for Velez, Baltimore signed Davis to seven-year, $161 million contract in 2016. So, while the 33-year-old is not going to be hanging up his cleats any time soon, he could be looking at some time on the bench.
After Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees, Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde remained confident Davis would soon turn things around. “I’m seeing a guy who’s giving a great effort. It’s just not happening right now,” Hyde said. “We wanted to get [Davis] off to a good start. It’s not the start he wanted to get off to, but I’m going to continue to play him and continue to support him and find the right matchups for him to try to get him off the schneid early.”
In Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees, in which the Pinstripes routed the Orioles 15-3, Davis went 0-4 with two strike outs. His last hit was in September 2018, where he hit a double against White Sox pitcher, James Shields.
Before Monday’s game against the Oakland A’s, Davis was 0-44 at-bats, a mere three outs away from breaking the MLB record. In 2019 alone, he’s 0-23. Davis isn’t coming off a great 2018 season, either. His batting average was an impressive .168 last year.