Khris Davis is back to crushing balls into low orbit, and it only took him 61 games into the 2020 season. His teammates and manager Bob Melvin have been believers for months, but the world is finally starting to see it.
Back-to-back home run games in the first two games of the ALDS have been the proof. Davis is known to be a guy who hits for power in the opposite direction, and right-center is that opposite direction.
Before the ALDS, Melvin predicted Davis would be appreciated this series, and he couldn’t have been more accurate:
“This is the best work in a while and he has been real confident and you see the home run the ball he hit to right-center field and it feels good. With Chapman out and maybe not us hitting as many home runs, I think he’s going to be an important piece in this series. We will see about starting every single game but yeah he has played his way into a much bigger role right now than what you saw what two or three weeks ago when he was only playing against left-handed pitchers.”
The designated hitter hadn’t really earned his spot after the 2019 and 2020 regular seasons and his teammate Mark Canha often found himself starting at DH this season.
Ramon Laureano knows Davis is the same guy he always has been:
“For us, he is the same KD from 2018 and previous years. That is the KD we see everyday. This is a new season, new page, we already turned that page and everybody has a new mindset. It’s all about winning right now.”
In 85 regular-season at-bats, Davis struck out 26 times. But Davis doesn’t care about the numbers as much as we do. He started the season completely missing pitches, advanced to fouling balls off, to flying out, to solid contact, to hits, and now to homers in the span of the shortened campaign and now the postseason.
Chad Pinder spoke about how great Davis has been over the past five games:
“KD has been incredible, he has put together great at-bats each time. When KD gets to the plate, everybody is holding their breath because that guy can change the game in one swing, we have seen it for the last five years and he is coming back around. We just have to hopefully get some runners on for him tomorrow and let KD be KD.”
Davis had a two-run homer in Game 1 and a solo shot in Game 2 in Oakland’s 5-2 loss Tuesday. He has three home runs in five postseason games after two homers during the 60-game season.
Chris Bassitt has known Davis has been back:
“For the last month, I know he hasn’t played much but for the last month I mean I promise you, guys in the clubhouse are like man the explosion in your bat is back and I think he is truly starting to believe it too. He has worked his butt off to kinda get back to where he was…. but again the last month his BP and his at bats during the game, I’m like, you’re there. You are back. You truly are back so it’s exciting to get him back and hopefully he just stays hot for us.”
Davis led the league in homers in 2018, which earned him a once in a blue moon Oakland A’s contract extension early the 2019 season. Ever since the contract, his signature homers have been absent. Davis ran into a wall and injured his oblique, and was never the same after that in 2019. This season, Davis wasn’t a name you saw often in the A’s starting lineup, though he has been an everyday name in the postseason.
Melvin explained why it is an easy decision to leave Davis in the lineup even when facing right-handed pitchers:
“You have to go on certain games on what you consider to be your top guys and like you said, he has been working really hard, he has had a good month. He was extremely fired up for [Monday’s] game, there was a look in his eyes of real determination yesterday so it wasn’t that tough today. We know it is going to be a bullpen day for the most part for them too so were going to see lefts and rights and we tried to split it up to more of an army golf left, right thing and his name fit in there well so its nice to be able to reward him as well.”
Gold glove first baseman Matt Olson spoke about Davis before the ALDS started and, not knowing how successful he would be, said he always had faith in his teammate:
“KD can do things that not everybody can do. … He has the most right field juice out of any righty that I have seen, and for him to hit some balls like that, he hit the ball well last series, it’s good to get his confidence going and yeah, we have a lot of baseball left.”
Khris Davis Tuesday became the fourth Athletic to ever hit two home runs in an ALDS. He joins seven others in the history of Oakland to have three or more homers in a single postseason. … Davis is batting .400, with six of his hits being homers and has brought in four postseason runs so far.