Doug Davis is expecting a raucous crowd to greet him at Wrigley Field on Monday for the Cubs’ home opener. He’s looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be ugly,” Davis said. “I have a Chicago friend who wants to pick up my wife at 6 a.m. to do Opening Day ‘the right way.’ I’m guessing it’s going to be a fun atmosphere there.
“I’m excited about it. There’s nothing better than making a home crowd quiet.”
Davis has some home opener experience. In 2005, during his first run with the Brewers, he started Milwaukee’s home opener against the Pirates and notched the win after allowing two runs in seven innings. The Brewers opened the 2006 season at home against the Pirates and Davis got the nod in place of an injured Ben Sheets, and settled for a no-decision this time after allowing two runs in six innings.
The following season, after a trade to Arizona, Davis started the D-backs’ home opener against the Reds. Again, he limited the damage to two runs in six innings and took a no-decision.
Davis found a way to keep his adrenaline in check in those outings but struggled to do so on Wednesday, when he started the Brewers’ third game of the season against the Rockies. Davis endured an awful first inning in which he threw 40 pitches, allowed three runs and walked off the mound thankful it wasn’t worse.
He said he was too “amped up” for his season debut.
“When I was warming up, I didn’t miss a spot,” Davis said. “I was just on fire. I thought I could take that out on the mound but I was throwing way too hard. I tried to slow things down and struggled to do it.”
He adjusted, and ended up working into the fifth inning. He’s hoping to not need such an adjustment on Monday.
“It’s going to be the same thing,” Davis said. “I think going through it once kind of broke that down. I can’t pitch like that, I have to slow things down, get ahead of hitters and pitch to contact.”