Is Hamilton the Best in the Game?
It’s May 9th and already this season we have seen a perfect game, 4K’s in one inning (twice), two triple plays, a teenager steal home, a 49-year old win a game, two 40-year olds hit walk-off home runs, a position player win a game, a cycle, a no-hitter and now FOUR home runs in one game.
After that outing Josh Hamilton can not be seen as a mere mortal anymore. He is in fact a government built cyborg who’s sole purpose is to crush opposing pitchers.
What Josh Hamilton did to the Orioles pitching staff Tuesday is the stuff legends are made of. Not only does he now hold the franchise record, four home runs in a game becoming only the sixteenth player to accomplish this. He is the first since Carlos Delgado did it in 2003. Hamilton also set the American League record for total bases in a game with 18 adding a double as well. This was the best offensive output by one player so far this season followed by Ryan Braun’s 4-5. A game in which Braun hit 3 home runs and a triple.
Every home run Hamilton hit was a 2-run shot as Elvis Andrus was standing on first for every one of them.
As awesome as this ride has been with Hamilton so far this season, a revelation came over me as I was watching his fourth home run exit the field by way of center field. Is Josh Hamilton just a great contract year player?
He was last seeking a new contract after the 2010 season one in which he had won the AL MVP award. Hitting a career best .359/.411/.633 with 32 home runs. This season he is on pace to crush all of his personal best records as well as maybe a few Ranger records as well.
I know he is arguably the best player in the game when he is healthy every other year but he seems to be focusing a little more this year than he was last year. Or is my pessimism taking hold of me? Could it be that he is just more determined to win this season after losing his second World Series in a row last year.
Sorry for going off on a rant but that had to be said.
Now back to the man of the hour. Hamilton in his last six at bats is 6-6 with 5 home runs again all with a man on. Giving him a round 10 RBIs over that stretch.
He is the best hitter in baseball right now at this particular point in the season. What makes him even more dangerous are the players that play behind him. With the way he’s hitting right now the obvious question is: why even pitch to him?
When he is followed by Adrian Beltre (who had a home run tonight of his own) and Michael Young, the simple answer is you have to pitch to him.
I see this season, with Hamilton all predictions are based on presumed health, being his most prolific and maybe the best “natural” offensive season we have seen in a long time. Remember he was once deemed “The Natural”.
Does a record night like that have you forgetting what happened to him during the offseason and his impending contract? No, but it should help his case that he should be paid as one of the best in the game.
Matt Kemp the pressure is now off of you to hit home runs as Hamilton now leads the league in home runs. You may now start working on your stolen bases.
I also learned tonight that Josh Hamilton is latin for MVP. Who would have thought?