OAKLAND — Khris Davis probably isn't going to win the AL MVP award. Heck, he might not even finish in the top five. But after Friday night's performance, it became even more clear that there is no one in baseball more valuable to their team than the A's designated hitter.
Davis hit two more home runs, including a walk-off blast in the 10th inning, which sent the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum into a frenzy, followed immediately by boisterous chants of “MVP.”
“I was one of those (chanting),” A's manager Bob Melvin joked. “You look at his numbers and what he's meant to this team, he definitely needs to be in the conversation.”
“What do you say?" asked outfielder Mark Canha. "I'm at a loss for words. He does things that just leave you speechless. It's crazy.”
“I can't explain (the feeling),” Davis said. “There's not a better feeling in the world.”
Davis set a new career high with his 44th and 45th home runs of the season, four more than anyone else in MLB. His 119 RBI are also a career high and rank second in baseball, five behind Boston's J.D. Martinez.
“It's one-of-a-kind power,” Melvin marveled. “He's so strong. He uses his lower half well, but sometimes he loses his lower half and just kind of flicks it, and that means his hands and forearms are pretty strong. He keeps himself back just enough to drive it.”
“I thought it was a double, just the ball off my bat initially,” Davis said of his game-winning home run. “I was thinking, 'Get on second.' And then it just kept carrying, which is even better.”
Davis will likely finish behind Martinez and Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez, Houston's Alex Bregman, and Mike Trout of the Angels in the MVP voting. They are all admittedly terrific players, but are any of them truly as valuable to their team as Davis is to the A's?
Take Davis out of Oakland's lineup and it's a completely different team. Sure, Oakland has other good hitters. But Davis affects the way opposing pitchers approach the entire lineup. He is a constant in the back of their mind, lurking just beneath the surface.
“He's obviously awesome for us on the field,” Canha said. “He's an awesome teammate. We love the heck out of him.”
“It's pretty dramatic how he started the game and ended the game,” Melvin added. “He's as good a power hitter as anybody in the game.”
Davis' 45 home runs are already the fourth most in Oakland single-season history. He is trying to become the first A's player to lead MLB in homers since Mark McGwire in 1996.
“It would be a nice achievement,” Davis acknowledged. “But first and foremost, I want to get deep in the playoffs. That means a lot more.”