Davis Chasing Consecutive-Game Home Run History

On Tuesday evening, Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis launched a 445-foot home run to center field off Tampa Bay’s James Shields to place himself in elite company. It marked his sixth-consecutive game in which he hit at least one home run, making him the 19th player in Major League history to accomplish that feat.

In the American League, the last player to hit a home run in at least six-consecutive games was Kevin Mench in April 2006, but some of the other names include Lou Gehrig, Roger Maris, Jim Thome, and Reggie Jackson (the only other Baltimore Orioles player). The longest stretch of consecutive games with at least one home run is eight games, which is held by three players — Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, and Dale Long.

Any consecutive-game streak concerning home runs is impressive, but Davis’ stands out even more because he has not heavily benefited from luck. Each one of his home runs during this streak have been classified by HitTracker as a “plenty” home run — or a home run that clears the fence with plenty of distance. These home runs are not barely scraping over the wall or being aided by wind.

Here are some of the specifics of the home runs, including the number of ballparks in which the home run would have still been a home run.

Date Pitcher Distance #Parks
10/2 James Shields 445 30
10/1 Kyle Farnsworth 391 27
9/30 Clayton Mortensen 385 23
9/29 Felix Doubront 419 29
9/28 Aaron Cook 407 29
9/26 Carlos Villanueva 412 19
9/26 Chad Beck 417 26

Six of his seven home runs would have been home runs in at least 23 parks across Major League Baseball, which HitTracker says was the average in 2011. It’s just more evidence that Chris Davis hasn’t been hitting any cheap or lucky home runs over this consecutive-game streak.

This hot streak hasn’t been confined to this recent home run streak, though. He also has the highest wOBA (.457) and wRC+ (193) of anyone in baseball during September and October. It’s no coincidence that the Orioles have scored the second most runs in the league over that time frame. The entire month has been ridiculous for Davis. The six-consecutive games with a home run has merely shed light on just how good he has been in September and October.

Although Davis (a career +1.4-win player) appears rather out of place amongst American League players who have hit home runs in six-consecutive games, the 26-year-old has always had prestigious power. It was simply a matter of whether his hit tool would play up enough to allow that power to become playable over 162-game season. With a .272 batting average and .351 wOBA, he certainly hit enough to not be a power-only bat, though his 15.3% swinging strike rate and 29.7% K% suggests this improved batting average may not be here to stay. Plenty of swing-and-miss still exists in his game.

For now, though, those contact questions can be put aside. He has helped anchor this Baltimore Orioles’ batting order, and all eyes will be on him Wednesday evening, as he attempts to extend his streak to seven games.

Chris Davis will square off against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson on Wednesday, which appears to be a solid matchup for the Orioles’ slugger. Hellickson has compiled a 1.23 HR/9 home run rate against left-handed batters this season, while 26 of Davis’ 33 home runs have come off right-handed pitchers in 2012.

A home run on Wednesday evening would make Davis only the seventh player in Major League history to hit a home run in at least seven-consecutive games, and just the fifth in American League history. Quite the feat for a young man who has bounced between Triple-A and the Major Leagues in each of the past four seasons.



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J.P. Breen is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. For analysis on the Brewers and fantasy baseball, you can follow him on Twitter (@JP_Breen).


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Ian R.
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Ian R.
3 years 9 months ago

So, if Davis hits a home run tonight, does he have to hit a home run in his first postseason game to tie the record, or does he have to go deep on Opening Day next year? Also, if the Yankees and Orioles end up in a one-game playoff, that’s considered a regular-season game for the purposes of records like this one, right?

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
3 years 9 months ago

If he hits one tonight, he’d have to hit another one tomorrow (in the 1-game playoff against the yankees) to tie the record. Unfortunately, he can’t break the record. With hitting streaks, playoff games don’t count and you have to start from scratch in a new season – it doesn’t carry over.

The Theory
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The Theory
3 years 9 months ago

vivalajeter- are you sure about that? I was under the impression that hitting streaks DO carry over. At least they did in 2006 when Jimmy Rollins ended his 38 game hitting streak in April. Unless home run streaks are different…? Seems like a weird distinction.

Preston
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Preston
3 years 9 months ago

I’m pretty sure hitting streaks do carry over, but I’m pretty sure game 163 also counts if it happens.

diegosanchez
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diegosanchez
3 years 9 months ago

Leaving the subject of the article’s name out of the first sentence? Come on maaannnnnn

FREDTERP
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FREDTERP
3 years 9 months ago

Knuckleheads don’t know how to spellI MATTINGLY? Where are the proofreaders. FREDTERP

MikeS
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MikeS
3 years 9 months ago

If he does it, he should be MVP. Neither Cabrera nor Trout has accomplished that feat.

Tyler
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Tyler
3 years 9 months ago

Perfect.

Jonathan Luman
Member
Jonathan Luman
3 years 9 months ago

Davis has been playing RF of late. last night too.

Robinson Rojas
Guest
3 years 9 months ago

No wonder the Orioles are playing neck and neck with the Yankees. The help Davis gives the Orioles its been hard for them to lose a game. It would be great t see him hit one tonight. This would be a season where we witness a perfect game, a no hitter, hopefully by tonight a triple crown winner, and a guy who keeps going long for 6 days already. Wow. That’s what I call old fashion baseball.

Dave in GB
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Dave in GB
3 years 9 months ago

Davis has the type of power that would make him the first player to hit the warehouse during a game (Griffey did it once during BP way back in ’93). Every homerun he hits seems to carry deep.

Tripp
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Tripp
3 years 9 months ago

Ken Griffey Jr. hit the Warehouse during the 1993 Home Run Derby, not BP.

JimLahey
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JimLahey
3 years 9 months ago
Dave in GB
Guest
Dave in GB
3 years 9 months ago

Actually, Hamilton’s ball bounced and then hit the warehouse. According to the Orioles website, the closest to hit the warehouse in a game was Jay Gibbons at 420 feet. It looks like it was hit almost right down the line.

Sam Samson
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Sam Samson
3 years 9 months ago

Interesting article. I think you might have meant “prodigious” not “prestigious”.

Jeff Akston
Guest
Jeff Akston
3 years 9 months ago

If he breaks/ties it, cue the asterisk calls. The home run he was credited two days ago (off Farnsworth) which supposedly hit off the C-ring in Tampa absolutely didn’t. The C-Ring is practically right above the outfield fence, but the ball dropped just behind 2nd base.

Since there was no video of it, it wasn’t replay reviewable, but BJ Upton immediately started pointing that it hit the B ring which would be a ground rule double. The announcers agreed that it would be impossible for the ball to bounce as far back as it did.

But that really wasn’t a home run.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25254397&c_id=mlb

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