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.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.