Three-homer days aren't routine affairs as-is, so seeing Khris Davis rip Cole Hamels for a pair of dingers and then win the game with a walk-off slam is several shades of happy, not least if you're an A's fan already spoiled by seeing third baseman Danny Valencia do it on Sunday. Those two are now third on the goofy list of "fewest days between three-homer days for teammates" behind Jeromy Burnitz and Richie Sexson doing it on the same day in 2001 (no, really), and Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig doing it on consecutive days in the ridiculously halcyon homeriffic season of 1930. You might be forgiven if you're more inclined to put Valencia and Davis with Sexson and Burnitz in the category of "unfortunately named buddy cop duos" than "guys doing stuff you associated with the Babe and the Iron Horse."
They didn't just crush three homers, they're the first two guys to each hit three homers over 400 feet in the same game this season. Check out who else has done that recently and you get an even greater sense of cognitive dissonance, because Valencia was a guy the A's grabbed off waivers, and Davis is a slugger who still has to sort of remind people that his huge second half last season is why he wound up hitting 27 bombs last year for a Brewers team people had already forgotten about by July.
When the Oakland Athletics pulled the trigger on the Davis deal in February, I admit, at first blush I wondered if they hadn't given up too much, but eventually, I talked myself into liking the A's side of it. And while that may not have looked entirely awesome so far, Davis has given the A's the power production they've sorely needed, although he's struggling to make contact or get on base, evidenced by his .228/.257/.490 line that includes Tuesday's three-homer night. He's missing on a career-worst 37.5 percent of his swings so far this season, as is his tendency to chase pitches out of the zone (another career-worst at 32 percent). And in particular, he's missing on fastballs, a career-worst 36.9 percent of the time.
So if you're worried, you've had reason to be -- until he makes contact, and until he makes baseballs go boom. And that's where the fun of Tuesday's two-outcome drama comes in. Davis home run No. 1 was a first-pitch curveball off Hamels, which was followed by a three-pitch strikeout on heat. Home run No. 2 came on a second-pitch Hamels changeup up 1-0, followed by a strikeout on even faster heat from Matt Bush.
So, before Davis stepped in against Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson with the bases juiced, he had watched or whiffed every fastball thrown his way in this game. So when hit the third bomb, there's a small bit of joy to take in that it came on the sixth straight fastball thrown to Davis in the at-bat, having watched the first two to go up 2-0, fouling off the next three to finally make contact, before he finally deposited the last into the seats for the first fastball he got into play on the night -- the only one he'd need to, to push this game into the win column for the A's.
Now, I already know what my dad or xkcd would say about this: You're staring at numbers too long. And maybe so, but that's after watching Davis' at-bats, and after enjoying the outcome, even enjoying the fact that as win-or-go-home at-bats go, Davis' combination of three blasts wrapped around grabbing some bench was epic in its way because he finally beat the heat.
Christina Kahrl writes about MLB for ESPN. You can follow her on Twitter.