Healthy Hamilton Back on Track
Josh Hamilton only played in 89 games last season due to injuries and hit hit 10 home runs while driving in 54 runs and hitting .268 in 336 at bats.
2010 has been a different story as Hamilton has hit 22 home runs which is one behind the major league leader Jose Bautista with 23. He has also driven in 64 runs and is leading the majors with a .349 batting average.
He is hitting .395 in his last ten games and since May 30 has been hitless twice on June 3 and July 1 hitting safely in 33 of 35 games. June was his best month this season when he hit nine home runs and drove in 31 runs while hitting .454. He had an on base percentage of .482 for the month and slugged at a .815 clip.
Hamilton leads the AL in hitting with a .349 average, leads in hits with 117, is third in doubles with 25 and is second in home runs with 22.
He is fourth in runs batted in with 64, leads in total bases with 212, second in slugging with a .633 mark and is third in OPS at 1.026. He also leads in extra base hits with 49.
The 29 year old Hamilton has hit only 10 less homers than he hit in his 2008 breakthrough season when he hit 32 and drove in 130 runs. ESPN.com projects Hamilton will have 42 home runs and 123 runs batted in by the end of the season and shows hit having 224 hits for the 2010 season.
Around the Diamond
Cliff Lee who was reportedly close to signing with the New York Yankees was sent with reliever Mark Lowe to the Texas Rangers while the Seattle Mariners received first baseman Justin Smoak and three minor leaguers in the deal.
Lee who will be 32 next month will be pitching for his fourth team in the last two seasons. After being traded to the Phillies last season Lee posted a 7-4 record during the regular season and a 4-0 record during the postseason.
He didn’t pitch his first game until April 30 for the Mariners in 2010 and posted an 8-3 record with them before being traded to the Rangers yesterday. He has lost only once May 16 and has won seven of his last eight decisions.
His most remarkable stat this season is his 89 to 6 strikeouts to walk ratio with the six walks being issued in 103 innings. Lee leads the AL in complete games with five.
Lee was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos and included in one of the worst trades ever when they traded Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. Phillips didn’t hit well for the Indians but is an integral part of the Cincinnati Reds who lead the NL Central but Sizemore and Lee both starred for the Indians.
Stephen Strasburg won his first start since June 13 last night and received some run support from his teammates for a change in the 8-1 win. His two losses this season came in games in which the Nationals failed to score a run….Jayson Nix hit his sixth home run for the Indians after being selected off waivers from the White Sox. Nix only hit one home run in 49 at bats for the White Sox but has hit six in only 51 at bats for the Indians.
Jake Fox who hit only two home runs for the Athletics earlier this season in 98 at bats has hit three already for the Orioles in only 20 at bats and hit a game winning home run last night in the tenth inning in a come from behind 7-6 win over the Rangers.
Albert Pujols is on track to have his tenth straight season with 30 home runs, 100 RBI and a .300 batting average. However his current .305 batting average could be in jeopardy since he is hitting .258 this month….Adam Wainwright who missed winning 20 games last season by one win won his 13th game of the 2010 season last night.
Mark Buehrle who won only three of his first twelve decisions won for the fifth time in his last six decisions as the White Sox defeated the Royals 8-2. A.J. Pierzynski homered twice and he and Andruw Jones were a combined 5 for 7 and drove in six of the eight White Sox runs. Gordon Beckham continues to struggle for the White Sox hitting .176 in July with three hits in 17 at bats.
Mark Teixeira with a .243 batting average isn’t hitting for average but has hit better in July with a .353 average and is slugging .824 for the month.
Ted Lilly who was 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in June is 0-2 in July with a 12.19 ERA. After giving up two runs in 13 innings to the last place Mariners and Pirates he has allowed the Reds and Dodgers 16 runs in his last 10 innings.
Carlos Silva and Ryan Dempster have a combined 16-9 record while the other four starters have a combined 13-26 record….The Yankees, Rays, White Sox and Rockies are 8-2 in their last ten games.
The Rays are leading the Red Sox by two games in the AL wild card race while the Rockies and Dodgers are tied for the NL wild card lead with a one game lead over the Mets.