May 092012
 

Hamilton’s Historic Night

“It reminds you of when you’re in Little League and a little kid and just the excitement and why we play the game,” Hamilton said following his 4 homer game. ”Things like that. You never know what can happen. It was just an absolute blessing.”

There have been 274 recorded no-hitters. There have been 272 cycles. There have been 21 perfect games. Prior to last night, there had been only 15 players hit four home runs in a single game.

Josh would have been happy with a 3 home run game, having never accomplished that feat before, but that’s like saying Superman would have been happy with saving just some of the people from a burning building.

Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...On Tuesday night, Josh became the 16th player in MLB history to slug 4 home runs in a single game and only the 7th player in MLB history to have 5 extra-base hits in a single game.  In addition, Hamilton now holds the American League record for the most total bases in a single game with 18.  Tim Kurkjian put that in perspective last night on ESPN when he said that Albert Pujols has 18 total bases over the last 19 games.

“Amazing,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “Josh came out tonight, and he wasn’t going to be denied.  History was witnessed tonight.”

The big night brings Josh’s season productivity levels to an unbelievable mark through the first 30 games, as he is currently hitting .406 with 14 HRs and 36 RBI (1.298 OPS) while playing in 27 of those 30 games. I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s a long season, and Josh has a history of missing time due to injury, but simple math tells you that he’s on pace for 75 home runs and 194 RBI, while missing 10% of the games this season.  Players get hot, as Josh is now, and they cool off, as Josh surely will at some point this season, but any time you project that kind of season through a 30 game stretch…you’re playing at a different level

ESPN Stats & Information provides the following look at the pitch location from last night’s performance.

Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...

Nothing earth shattering here, but take note that the Oriole’s pitchers were not putting the ball where Josh had drilled his first 10 home runs of the season.  They worked Josh away all night, but still left it on the plate and allowed him to get extended.  The pitch location is telling when you look at where Josh’s home runs ended up on the other side of the fence (left center to right center).

Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...The performance also increased the volume of the cries from Rangers fans to get Hamilton locked up beyond the 2012 season.  Josh, who turns 31 later this month, will be a free agent after this season if a deal is not reached with the Rangers prior to that point.  We don’t know much about where things stand in negotiations, but we do know that Jon Daniels and Hamilton’s agent, Michael Moye, continue to talk.

The feeling is that the Rangers have some apprehension to locking Hamilton up for more than the next 4 season, and to be fair, this is warranted due to his injury history and the unknown but certain toll that his addiction has taken on his body.  That said, Albert Pujols just signed a 10 year contract worth $250M and Joey Votto just signed a 10 year contract worth $225M, so Moye has some rather good comps to use in his argument.

Let’s hope this materializes in the coming month or two and shapes up as a great deal for both sides…stay tuned.

Reaction

This stuff is priceless:

“I’m his lucky charm,” Andrus said. “The time I didn’t get on base, he doubled. Every time I was on base, he hit it out of the park. It was fun. It was unbelievable. I thought after the first swing that he was going to hit it out that last time. I thought, ‘Don’t throw it around the plate.’ He did, and he hit it out.”

“I had a homer and a single and I don’t feel like I did anything,” said Beltre, “That’s fine. I would like to feel like that every day if he’ll do that every day.”

“The best individual performance I have ever seen,” Rangers infielder Michael Young said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was fun to be a part of. He’s an incredible player.”

Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...“He makes it look easy,” said catcher Mike Napoli. “He’s the type of freak, I guess, who can pull stuff off like that. He’s got a gift.”

“To see the fourth one go out was pretty cool,” Young said. “We pretty much went ape.”

“I was hoping we could go around again and see what he could do with his next at-bat,” Beltre said. “I have no doubt he probably would’ve hit another one.”

“After he hit the third one, I knew that if they would pitch to him his fifth at-bat that he was going to hit another one,” outfielder David Murphy said. “I’ve never seen him that focused. His approach was perfect today.” “It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on a baseball field by an individual,” Murphy said. “Being on the opposing side last year, it’s impressive to see Albert Pujols hit three home runs in a World Series or Adrian Beltre hitting three in a playoff game. But four is just so rare. I feel like an 8-year-old kid right now who just left the ballgame and saw the coolest thing ever.”

“The guy is a freak,” said starter Derek Holland, who was still shaking his head. “He’s unbelievable. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. It’s amazing to sit there and watch. I couldn’t believe it.”

“I’d rather see it from a different dugout,” Showalter said. “He’s one of the best players in the game. You can see why.”

“It was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that. Very special hitter,” Arrieta said on Hamilton. “He didn’t miss tonight.”

Josh was welcomed to the club via Twitter by Carlos Delgado (did it in 2003) and Shawn Green (did it in 2002):

Carlos Delgado tweeted “#Rangers Mr. Josh Hamilton very nice game. Welcome to the club!!!!!!! @shawngreen15,”

Shawn Green followed that up with “Thanks for all of the nice messages tonight and thanks Josh Hamilton for getting people to remember me!”

Quick Hits

  • Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...Neftali Feliz put in a good night of work on the mound, giving up only one run on four hits and two walks, while striking out eight over six innings (105 pitches).  Nice bounce back from a rough outing in Toronto last week.  Last night’s performance puts Feliz at 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA on the season with 26 Ks and 16 BBs over 32 innings.
  • Adrian Beltre returned to action last night and belted his 6th home run of the season…but he only hit one home run in the game, so…
  • Elvis Andrus has now reached base in 26 straight games, and he is 16 for 33 on the current road trip.  All four of Josh’s home runs from last night came with Elvis on base.
  • There were only 11,263 in attendance last night at Camden Yards.  C’mon Baltimore…until Texas came to town, the O’s were playing really well and had the best record in the American League.

Wednesday Morning Curves   He didnt miss...

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