It’s finally over. After seven walks, 28 strikeouts, and a disconcerting .000 batting average through 54 hitless at-bats and 62 plate appearances, Chris Davis recorded his first hit since September 14, 2018.
The fortuitous moment arrived in the first inning of the Orioles-Red Sox game on Saturday. Boston right-hander Rick Porcello loaded the bases on a Trey Mancini double and two walks to Dwight Smith and Rio Ruiz and was looking for an inning-ending out when Davis stepped up to the plate. Instead, Davis lofted a 92.9-m.p.h. fastball into the right field gap, scoring both Mancini and Smith with his first hit of the 2019 season.
Prior to Davis’ long-awaited two-run single, the Orioles’ infielder carried the longest hitless streak by a position player in MLB history, a burden that was previously shouldered by utility player Eugenio Vélez in 2011. Vélez went 0-for-46 between his 2010 and 2011 stints with the Giants and Dodgers and has not appeared in a major-league game since.
The Orioles currently lead the Red Sox 2-0 in the third.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.