Hamilton’s walk off uplifts Rangers to exceed .500
Today epitomized an example of why Hamilton has been missed on the team in which he elevated his status to super-stardom from 2008 to 2012.
Pinch hitting didn’t seem to hold off Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton from finding his groove immediately, as he hit a two RBI walk off double in their series finale today against the Boston Red Sox. With two on and two outs, Hamilton belted one into deep left center field scoring Hanser Alberto and Prince Fielder, as he rallied the Rangers back from a two run deficit. It would be his first walk off of the season, as well as his first walk off since August 2013.
Hamilton, a supremely talented five time all-star, who even won the MVP in 2010, has experienced a lot of the negative spotlight this season more so off the field than on it. Having notified the MLB back in February, when he was with the Los Angeles Angels, that he had relapsed with his cocaine once again, controversy ensued with him. Hamilton had been ruled by the arbitrator of an investigation that he was not to be given a suspension, which resulted in Hamilton still being paid the $23 million in 2015. With implications that Angels Owner Arte Moreno did not want Hamilton around, including the removal of his memorabilia from team stores, Hamilton was eventually traded to the Rangers in late April. Hamilton had also been dealing with shoulder rehabilitation at the beginning of the season, as today marked his seventh game played of the season.
Hamilton’s pinch hitting occurred as a result of Adam Rosales unsuccessful pinch hitting for Adrian Beltre, who had left in the fifth inning due to a thumb injury he sustained while sliding into second on a double play (Beltre is expected to be out two weeks as a result).
With Hamilton coming up to bat in the ninth inning, Koji Uehara, Red Sox closer and 2013 all-star, wasn’t enough to rattle Hamilton’s heroics, as he connected for a hit on a 1-1 count. Although Hamilton delivered the game winning hit, the heroics don’t end with just him, as despite a large stature, the wheels on Prince Fielder carried the AL batting average star home from first base. The hit was marked as Hamilton’s eight career walk off hit, and his first as a Ranger since his last season there in 2012.
Hamilton is hitting .273 this year, in six games, with two homeruns and five RBIs. The Rangers, who remain in third within the AL West, win today to close out their series with the Red Sox winning three of the four in their series this week. This also marks the first time of the season that the Rangers have their record exceed .500.