Ron Washington’s pregame remarks included this improbable declaration: “I’d look for Hamilton to come up big tonight.”
Josh Hamilton, a nobly recovering drug addict, is the Rangers’ best story, and, when healthy, their best player. But at the most inopportune time, a groin injury has forced him to swing without the lower torso that generated so much of his power.
It was OK, he said before the Game 2: “I’ve hit home runs before just flicking at the ball.”
Perhaps. But not lately. This postseason has been a painful disappointment for Hamilton. While flicking — not the ideal stroke for power hitters — he is homerless in the postseason. After going 2-20 in last year’s World Series, he picked up where he left off, going 0-4 in the Game 1. As Thursday’s game wore on, there was little reason to feel sanguine about either Hamilton’s prospects or his manager’s prediction.