Josh Hamilton stops overthinking, breaks out

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
12:31
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton looked like, well, Josh Hamilton from April and May in Thursday's 15-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

[+] EnlargeJosh Hamilton
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireJosh Hamilton had his most productive night at the plate in more than a month, going 2-for-5 with four RBIs.
His timing was better. He recognized breaking pitches and hit them. He came up with key clutch hits when his team needed them.

And through it all, Hamilton worked on trying to quit overanalyzing his swing and approach and just react to what the pitcher gave him.

"Basically, I just said, 'You know what? Stop thinking about it. Stop listening to everybody -- everybody's got something to say -- and just go up there and play,' " Hamilton said. "[Try to] react and try to slow the game down again. It worked. I'll keep trying to do it."

Hamilton was 2-for-5 with four RBIs. It was just his second game of more than three RBIs since June 1 (he had four RBIs on June 30). He hit a ground ball through the hole between first and second to drive in two runs in the second, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead at the time. He then came up with two outs in the seventh and hit a double to center on a breaking ball, scoring two more runs to help give the bullpen a cushion.

It was the kind of early August game he needed after struggling in June and July. Hamilton hit .223 in June and .177 in July.

"I figured I'd play good the first two months, suck the middle two and pick it up again the last two," Hamilton said, laughing.

Hamilton said he has been working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh in the cages, but that he had to work on the mental approach more than swing mechanics.

"There's nothing wrong with my swing," Hamilton said. "It's about trusting myself and not being too aggressive and trying to slow the game down again."

Can a game like Thursday's get Hamilton going?

"I don't think about getting going," Hamilton said. "I think about coming out and trying to play, period. I want to play good, but whatever happens, happens. I want to go out and play hard and not stress over anything. Having fun is a key for me, and if I've got a smile on my face then good things are going to happen."

Hamilton admitted it has been frustrating for him recently but that he's being patient and feels like things are turning around. He hinted earlier in the week that something had been bothering him, but didn't want to get into specifics.

"People are trying to figure out what's going on, but it's nobody's business," Hamilton said. "When I want you to know, I'll let you know."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
3 1.86 20 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rios .321
HRS. Choo 2
RBIK. Kouzmanoff 10
RE. Andrus 14
OPSS. Choo .932
ERAY. Darvish 1.61
SOY. Darvish 29