(Photo Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)

In 8-4 loss in the home opener, Chris Davis and Mike Wright Jr. look to turn the page on tough chapters

The two players' struggles continue in the 2019 season.

April 04, 2019 - 10:15 pm

By: Kyle J. Andrews

BALTIMORE -- The pomp and circumstance of the Baltimore Orioles home opener was grand, but so were the storylines behind the game. Unfortunately, those storylines were not positive for certain players.

Baltimore put up three runs early in the first inning, but went down at the hands of the New York Yankees 8-4. The loss was overshadowed the performances of Chris Davis and Mike Wright Jr.

Davis entered the game having gone 0-for-14 during the season and added three more strikeouts to the ledger in Thursday afternoon's matchup against the Yankees. He began his day with a trot down the orange carpet filled with cheers and ended his day with a strikeout in the first, fourth and six innings. After each punch out, Davis heard the frustrations of Baltimore fans through boos.
Despite his struggles coming into the game and for the past few seasons, he totally gets where the fans are coming from.

"It's not something that I was really expecting, but it was tough" Davis discussed after the game. "At the same time, I heard it a lot last year and rightfully so. I've said it before, I'll say it again -- I understand the frustration. Nobody is more frustrated than I am, especially a day like today, the kind of game we were having -- really kind of had them on their heels the whole game.

"It was a frustrating day for personally and the team collectively, but you've gotta move on."

Davis was pulled in the eighth inning for pinch hitter Hanser Alberto. Alberto was met with cheers and hit a single in his only at-bat of the game.

After having a season in which was dubbed one of the worst in baseball history -- batting .168 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI over the course of 128 games, things just haven't seemed to click for Davis after he signed a seven-year/$161 million mega deal to remain with Baltimore following the 2015 season. Besides last season's stat line, he posted batting averages of .221 and .215 in 2016 and 2017 respectively. His home run totals also dropped from 38 to 26 from 2016 to 2017.

With that being said, Davis has the support of his coaching staff and teammates, which he very much appreciates.

“I would expect my manager to be behind me no matter who it was," Davis said. "Obviously, I’m going to be here for the foreseeable future, and I’m a guy that’s been here for a while. So I know Brandon is behind me, I know the whole coaching staff, I know my teammates are behind me. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.”

As for Wright Jr., he was able to garner the first save of his career on Saturday in New York in two-thirds of an inning. He would follow up his hitless performance by allowing two runs to the Blue Jays in one inning of work and four runs in the home opener in 0.0 innings. He gave up a three-run home run to Gleyber Torres in the sixth with Baltimore losing their lead of 4-2.

“I tried to go down and away three times and I missed up and in to the same spot three times in a row,” said Wright Jr.

Wright Jr. was once a highly-rated prospect in the Orioles minor league system. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much success in the Majors with a career ERA of 5.76 in 231.1 innings as a starter and a reliever. As a 29-year old pitchers with no remaining options, it would be imperative for him to turn things around for his future.

“It seems like the same song and dance even though it’s a different year, a different vibe," said Wright Jr. "I feel way better, and just one pitch makes it seem like it’s the same old Mike Wright. I mean, I still feel confident, still feel good. I’m excited about this team. Definitely excited to move forward.”

Both players have a chance to redeem themselves on Saturday. Baltimore resumes their series with New York at 7:05 p.m. with two days two return to full strength in the bullpen and for Davis -- in the batter's box.

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