Orioles 1B Chris Davis breaks the all-time hitless streak record

Despite one Oriole breaking one of the most futile all-time records, the contingent of fans on Monday supported him.

April 09, 2019 - 6:37 pm

By: Kyle J. Andrews

BALTIMORE -- After going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts on Monday night, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has broken the all-time hitless streak.

Davis cracked the record for the all-time hitless streak (0-for-47) in the fifth inning, after lining out to left field. The record was previously held by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Eugenio Velez, who went 0-for-46 in the 2011 season. He is now 0-for-49 dating back to September of last season.

Leading into Davis' record-breaking game, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde discussed how fans in Chicago handled a player struggling and how fans in Baltimore booed Davis in the opening series against the New York Yankees.

“I came from Chicago where [they] have an unbelievable fan base and are passionate about the team and the players and what’s going on on a daily basis, like this fan base," said in Monday's pregame press conference. "That’s what you want — a fan base that cares. Fans are welcome to handle situations the way they want to. And unfortunately, it’s hard to listen to hear it from me to be honest with you. But, I haven’t been here in the past either, so this is pretty fresh for me.

“I know how some fans in Chicago handled some of our players that were going through tough times, so I’ve been aware and been around that kind of stuff. But, I’m pulling for him and I’m trying to put him and I’m trying to put him in a position for success. And I talk to him a lot — he’s upfront with it and we talk about that and we talk about other situations as well. I don’t want hide anything and I don’t want to try to mask his struggles and what he went through last year.

“So, we’re taking this thing head on and I appreciate that from him too and that he’s open to talk about things with me. And now, we are where we are and we’re still talking about it a little bit. So, hopefully we can turn it around.”

In Davis' lineout to left field, he could just smile as went back to the dugout. Three of his five outs last night came on lineouts and each ball put into play was a rocket to the outfield. The other two outs came on strikeouts. In 32 plate appearances in 2019, he has struck out 15 times. He holds a .000 average on the year.

Davis had a few wondrous seasons 2013 and 2015 where he lead the American League with 53 and 47 home runs respectively. In 2013, he landed in third place for the American League MVP race, where he had a slash line of .286/.370/.634 and batted in 138 runs in 584 at-bats. Davis struggled in the 2014 season, batting .196/.300/.404 with 26 homers and 72 RBI. During his return to stardom in 2015, he batted .262/.361/.562 and had 117 runs batted in. He would sign the richest contract in Orioles history in the following offseason -- a seven-year/$161 million deal.

Unfortunately for Davis and the Orioles, his combined batting average is .191 since signing his record deal. He's also hit just 42 home runs and batted in 110 runs in that span -- numbers that have been expected to come in just one season.

After being vehemently by Baltimore's Opening Day crowd -- after striking out in three consecutive plate appearances, fans have since rallied around Davis with support. Even though the crowd was at a record low for a single-admission game in the history of Camden Yards (6,585), this particular contingent was particularly loud in its support of the struggling first baseman.

“I just thought the fan reaction to Chris last night was phenomenal. Obviously, he’s going through a really tough time and I just thought that was so cool and shows a lot about our fan base and how they were really cheering him on and there was disappointment when he didn’t get those hits.

“But I just thought it was their reaction to the tough times he’s had and how they cheered him last night was fantastic.”

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