14. Baltimore Orioles vs. Chicago White Sox (Monday, June 23 – 7:05 pm – 5-3)
Chris Davis had an absolutely amazing 2013 season, recording 96 extra base hits (53 were home runs, which was good enough to lead all of MLB) and ridding himself of the “4A” label once and for all. Davis was due for some regression in 2014. Davis regressed, far below what even his harshest critics thought would happen. An oblique injury at the end of April and a suspension for Adderal in September only added to his frustrating year.
Yet, in retrospect, Davis still hit 24 home runs and provided quality defense at first base. On a warm Monday in late June, the White Sox had their lefty ace Chris Sale on the mound. With Davis struggling and Sale being brutal on left handed hitters, it was an easy decision to sit Davis. Down 4-3 in the 9th, the O’s had two men on and one out when Davis was summoned to pinch hit for Delmon Young against then closer Ronald Belasario. Davis proceeded to hit a no doubter into the right field seats to walk off in triumphant fashion.
24 home runs would be something most people would “sign up in blood for” at the beginning of the season. After his amazing 2013 season, 24 home runs to go along with a .704 OPS was certainly a bit disappointing. But on this night in June and again in July (coming soon in the top 20 games), Davis reminded everyone why he is a big threat in big situations.