Ides of April Brought Death to Two Dubious Streaks in Baseball
Chris Davis Had Two Reasons To Celebrate Last April
While the eventual World Series Champion Nationals were burying themselves deeper into the cellar of the East division, the middle of April last year saw several dubious streaks come to an end within a matter of days. As we struggle to endure the traditional first month of baseball in 2020, we can at least look back on the end of the nagging issues that had beset two All-Stars.
Texas slugger Joey Gallo came into an April 21 game with a highly unlikely streak, which would finally come to an end in the fourth inning. The Ranger outfielder had gone 1,145 at bats,yet he had never recorded a sacrifice fly.
Another opportunity to snap that extended oddity occurred against Houston, which removed starter Colin McHugh trailing 7-1 with the bases loaded and no one out. Gallo stepped up against reliever Framber Valdez, whose first pitch resulted in the long -awaited sacrifice fly.
LIttle celebration was required, which is not the case in a more dubious streak that had stopped just a few days before. On April 13 Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis had ended another bizarre stretch of futility, while the Orioles were playing in Fenway Park.
Davis smashed a based loaded single off of Boston starter Rick Porcello in the first inning, a noteworthy accomplishment for a reason besides driving in Dwight Smith Jr. and Trey Mancini. The first baseman had gone 62 at bats without a hit, his last having come way back on September 14 against the White Sox the previous season.
He added another single as well as a double, a three hit performance that raised his batting average 79 points. It was the biggest single game climb in the Major Leagues by a player with over twenty-five at bats, even though Davis was still batting an unenviable .079.
Two days later Davis and his teammates participated in another rare occasion, which also came in Fenway Park. Home team pitcher Hector Valezquez delivered the first pitch at 11:03 a.m., so those on the West Coast got to see a regular season baseball game on American soil just as the sun was rising.
The morning start was due to Patriot Day, a celebration on the anniversary of the battles at Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War. In addition to the ball game, the events also include parades and parties throughout Beantown.
Davis himself had a reason to party that morning as well, for he connected for his first home run of the season. It came off of reliever Heath Embree, and it pretty much sealed the 8-1 victory for the Orioles.