After Tuesday night's 7-3 victory over the hapless Houston Astros, we can fit the Rangers for another Silver Boot.
Texas got homers from Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler and C.J. Wilson cruised against baseball's worst team. A favorable ump call helped the Rangers in the 6th when Jeff Keppinger beat the throw to first but was called out on a double play. And even got some UT-Arlington pride going -- Class of '86 -- in the 8th when former Movin' Mav Mark Lowe struck out former Movin' Mav Hunter Pence.
And one of the best signs for the Rangers? A play that wasn't made.
Hamilton, who recently missed six weeks after a dumb, daring dash to home plate on a foul pop-up, is playing safer. Which is smarter. He didn't make a diving catch last night. And because of it he'll be in the lineup again tonight, which is considerably more important.
In the 5th inning Hamilton ran into left-center and sorta half-ass dove for a liner off the bat of Clint Barmes. As he closed in on the ball, Josh hesitated and didn't reach out with his right arm, same one he broke back in April.
Some call it alligator arms. Some call it a plum (plays unmade). I call it a harmless double and sign that Hamilton may add mental maturity and durable into his mammoth tool box.
Admitted Hamilton, "Kinda got alligator arms on the first one cause I knew I was going to hit the ground hard, so I didn't get full extension."
Then, there was Hamilton's second diving catch attempt. Which wasn't so safe, but was key.
I saw it on SportsCenter in Top Plays, then I read about it. I think?
From ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins:
In the seventh, Hamilton ran to his left, into right-center field, on another long drive by Barmes. This time, Hamilton dove for the ball, catching it with his right hand (glove hand), and he landed hard on his left side in the warning track.
From Dallas Only Daily's Evan Grant:
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6th inning: When Carlos Lee drives a pitch to the gap in right center, Josh Hamilton closes on the ball fast and dives onto the warning track to make a backhand grab.
Unless Josh had three dives in the game, chalk one up for Grant. And for Hamilton. It was in the 6th, off Lee's bat and Hamilton made a diving, tumbling catch in which he landed on his right side. The play preserved a 5-2 lead.
Still, at this point in the season, especially against the Astros: Careful > Kamikaze.