Major league sluggers, when they’re locked in, can make the game look effortless. And they tend to keep their game-face firmly in place as they trot around the bases after even the most titanic home runs. But nobody does nonchalance like Chris Davis.
His swing is a thing of beauty, ranging from an unhurried uncoiling of the hips and shoulders that results in the flick of the bat or a Mighty Casey, we’re-going-for-the-fences explosion where the bat seems to rip through the air like a battle sword.
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But it’s what happens after he hits a home run -- he’s now hit 19 of them, 10 in his last 19 games -- that I love to watch.
The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman had a huge game last night, too, with three home runs in his first three at-bats. And the All-Star third baseman rounded the bases in the usual stoic manner of veteran long-ball hitters.
But returning to the dugout and the high-fives of his teammates after each blast, Zimmerman allowed himself to smile broadly. And his body language exuded an excited “Hey, that was pretty cool!” vibe to anyone who was watching -- especially after his third homer.
Not so with the Orioles slugger who’s nicknamed “Crush.”
Davis has the head-down, all-business home run trot down perfectly. But even after his second homer in the six-run seventh inning that broke the game open for the Orioles, MASN cameras captured him coolly chomping on his bubble gum and pulling off his batting gloves after being congratulated by his teammates.
Ho-hum, another game, another couple of jacks -- that’s what you read on the big guy’s face. Which is fine -- obviously that mental approach is serving him well this spring. And it underscores the fact that he’s a big believer in the major-league mantra about not getting too high when you’re going well and not getting too low when you’re not.
But when a guy is this unbelievably hot -- he’s the talk of baseball, going 18-for-30 and batting .600 in his last six games -- you wonder how he can keep his emotions so tamped down when he sends a baseball far into the night and 40,000 at Camden Yards leap to their feet and roar.
There’s a trick to it, that’s for sure. And Chris Davis has it down pat.
He sure has been fun to watch.