Sunday, October 17, 2010
Josh Hamilton takes more, walks more
By Jeff Caplan
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Hamilton, the American League's leading MVP candidate, had two hits in the ALDS. The Texas Rangers slugger wasn't happy that he was chasing breaking balls out of the zone, resulting in six strikeouts in six postseason games.
With two more strikeouts in Game 1 after he started things off with a first-inning, three-run homer, Hamilton finally found patience with the lumber in Game 2 as the New York Yankees clearly decided they weren't going to let Hamilton to beat them.
Hamilton walked four times in five plate appearances. Twice he was walked intentionally with Vladimir Guerrero batting behind him. He had walked just three times in the previous six postseason games, while going just 3-for-22.
"I've gotten better at it [patience at the plate]. I probably could have had five walks, but, man, you just want to hit when you're up there," Hamilton said. "It's hard to control the reigns every once in a while."
The one at-bat in which Hamilton didn't walk, he struck out against right-handed reliever David Robertson. Hamilton saw six pitches in the at-bat. One was a fastball and the final four pitches he saw were all curves.
"Like I said, I could have had five walks today, but that one at-bat, I wanted to do something," Hamilton said. "But, that's just a constant thing about baseball. You learn from it. You're going to make mistakes again. You'll get in that mode again and then you reset the trap and go back to doing what's best for the team."