Josh Hamilton 'felt good' but fizzled late

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Hamilton finally had an MVP-like postseason moment. Just not with the game on the line.

The ALCS started with a bang for Hamilton when he pulled an 0-2 breaking ball by CC Sabathia onto the home run porch to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the first inning. It was only Hamilton’s third hit of the playoffs – and his first for extra bases.

It was also Hamilton’s only hit of the night.

Hamilton struck out in his next two at-bats and hit a weak grounder to third base off Mariano Rivera to end the game with the potential tying run on second base.

“It was good to finally feel like … I felt good at the plate all night tonight,” Hamilton told ESPN 103.3’s Ben Rogers. “I felt like I had good at-bats.

“Mariano, man, every time you think you have a plan for him, he messes it up. But I’ll have a new one for him when I face him the next time.”

Hamilton, who was 2-for-18 in the previous series, said the homer isn’t an indication that his injured ribs have healed. It’s a subject that Hamilton is sick of discussing, and he doesn’t anticipate the soreness to go away any time soon.

“The ribs aren’t going to feel good until I stop playing,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully, that’s later than sooner.”

The Rangers will probably need some clutch hits from Hamilton for that to happen.