The Angels and Orioles combined for 10 dingers in last night’s slugfest, a game O’s manager Buck Showalter described as a “dunk contest.” But we are here to talk about Manny Machado, who is an absolute monster. With his team down 5-2 in the third inning, Machado smoked a two-run tater 418-feet to center field. With the Orioles down 7-4 in the fifth inning, Machado yanked a 400-foot solo dinger to left field. And with the score stuck at 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Machado took a strike looking and then did this:
Machado was batting just .215/.283/.418 on July 6. He smoked a pair of dingers as part of a four-hit day on July 7, and has been on an absolute tear ever since, bringing his slash line all the way up to .264/.319/.494 in 37 games. And the power, the power has been very good. Last night’s grand slam was Machado’s third in 11 games. He’s up to 28 runs batted in in the month of August, and since the start of July he’s had more than four times as many multi-hit games (17) as he’s had multi-strikeout games (four).
The Orioles are still two games under .500, but they’re also only two games back of the final American League Wild Card spot, and after a miserable May and early June they seem to have mostly righted the ship. There was talk earlier in the summer of the O’s trading away Machado, but I have a better idea: literally never trade Manny Machado. He’s got a higher career WAR (27.9) than Bryce Harper (26). He is the goddamn truth.