Baseball is a game of slumps and streaks with just about anyone, unless your name is Mike Trout. For instance, look at the two early-season slam dunk MVP candidates — Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Josh Hamilton of your Texas Rangers.
Now, neither of them are sniffing the award as Kemp was on the disabled list and Hamilton has been in a two-month long nosedive that has his season average now below .300.
Hamilton had a perfect opportunity to make amends on Sunday night after an improbable comeback in the rubber game of a three-game set in Anaheim. Two runners on base, two outs and down by three runs against Ernesto Frieri, who had struggled with control through the inning to that point.
Hamilton is now hitting .180 in July and .143 since the all-star break. His swing and miss rate is tops in baseball, something that has never really happened with Hamilton, even when he's been mired in slumps before. On Sunday night against the Angels, he struck out three more times, including in that final at-bat when he whiffed on three fastballs right down the middle of the plate.
Of course, Washington said there was no one he would've rather had at the plate in the do-or-die situation. I can think of about four other guys, but let's see what the skipper had to say.
"He was locked in but, you know, he got beat," Washington told reporters after the game. "It happens."
Locked in? Is that what you call an 0-for-4 night with two strikeouts leading up to that at-bat? Don't think so, Wash.