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Wednesday October 27, 2010 2:05 am

Josh Hamilton set for first World Series




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Championship, MLB,

Josh HamiltonA month ago, Josh Hamilton was just returning from a rib cage injury that had sidelined him for the better part of September. That injury seems like ancient history to the Texas outfielder. Now, he’s expected to carry a Rangers offense through a powerful Giants pitching rotation that includes two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum and fellow starter Matt Cain, while the bullpen crowd features Sergio Romo and Grizzly Adams-wannabe Brian Wilson.

Hamilton struggled in the five-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, getting just a pair of hits in 18 at bats and two walks, but he really broke out in the ALCS against the New York Yankees. He hit .350 with four home runs and seven RBI in 20 at bats, thoroughly helping his team clinch its first trip to the World Series in franchise history. While the series went to six games, anyone who watched it knew things weren’t really that close.

Despite his slow return during the ALDS, merely having a bat like Hamilton’s in the lineup is enough to scare most pitchers. If he sees a mistake pitch, he’ll take it deep. The fact that the Rangers pulled out a series victory seemingly without Hamilton’s help shows how resilient the rest of the team is. Their thorough domination of the former champion Yankees shows how much better the Rangers are when Hamilton’s bat is hot.

After crushing four home runs in six games, it will be interesting to see if the Giants decide to pitch to Hamilton or not. Of course it will depend on the situation, but it might be safer to avoid his bat, even if it’s hindered by a rib injury. Hamilton has proven time and again that he’s no quitter. He’s worked hard to get where he is today, and of all the stories developing around this World Series, his might be the greatest one told.

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