In case you’ve been distracted with the Baltimore Orioles continuing to win and entering into this four-game series with the New York Yankees, in Baltimore, just one game behind them for the division lead there is something you should know – Mark Reynolds is really, really good.
Reynolds has been the unsung hero for this team during August and now into September, where he’s staying red-hot, batting .368/.455/1.000 with four homeruns and 10 RBI over five games. Even more amazing though is – and this is something that has likely gone unnoticed big time – the fact that Reynolds has been on base in 17 consecutive games.
Going back to August 18, Reynolds has been an on-base machine and carrying the offense on his lumbering shoulders as he jacks homeruns out of whatever ballpark he is in at the time. During this 17 game streak of his he is batting .309 with a .441 on-base-percentage and has belted six homeruns. If there ever was a time for Reynolds to get even hotter at the plate than he was in August (.275/.408/.575 batting line) it is now.
The reason is simple; it’s currently all-hands-on-deck for the Orioles as they try to continue to force their way to what has to be a division title. Their manager, Buck Showalter, needs every single player to find a way to contribute somehow – and then after you’ve dug in to provide that, dig deeper. That’s where we are at in the year currently and that’s because the Orioles are in one of those good, old-fashioned three-team pennant races.
Even though Reynolds would tell you that it’s business as usual for everyone, and I believe that’s genuinely how they feel, you can bet your bottom dollar that Showalter knows exactly what’s on the line and will find a way to squeeze every last bit of talent out of this team to reach the ultimate prize – a World Series title.
In order for this team to get to where they want to go Reynolds is going to have to find a way to continue dominating the opposing pitcher. He had an agonizing first half to the season and it appeared as if he was never going to break out of his ‘slump’ for the remainder of July – but then something miraculous happened.
Once August rolled around Reynolds was a different man altogether. He looked comfortable at the plate again, he looked confident. His confidence is at an all-time high and Showalter, once again, looks like a mad-genius for continuing to show unwavering support for Reynolds long after the fan base went rabid towards him.
It’s not over yet though – not only do the birds have a pennant race to win, but Reynolds is a ways away from the most consecutive games on base record. Some guy named Ted Williams – have you heard of him? – owns that one by getting on base for 84 consecutive games back in 1949. He also put up a batting line of .343/.490/.650 with 43 homeruns and 159 RBI too. I guess that’s not half bad, but my money is on Reynolds to keep this thing rolling.