ARLINGTON, Texas – After Josh Hamilton caught a fly ball to end the top of the fourth inning, he made a beeline for the Rangers’ video room.
That’s a rarity for Hamilton during games, but he wanted to figure out what went wrong in his first two at-bats. He felt like he was seeing the ball well, but he popped up to third and hit a weak grounder to second.
“I missed some cookies,” Hamilton said, referring to a few fastballs, one he popped up and two that he fouled back. “I was trying to figure out how I missed it. You go back and look at the videotape and see what your lower half is doing that it doesn’t need to do. When you stay square, you can go straight to the ball.”
Hamilton stayed square his next at-bat. The ball landed over the Rangers’ bullpen, 426 feet away, tying a record for left-handed hitters with his fourth homer against lefties this postseason.
A simple adjustment paid major dividends for Hamilton, who has 1-for-10 in the World Series before his home run off Giants lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez. Hamilton said it was simply a matter of keeping his front foot square, which allows him to keep his swing level instead of the uppercut action he had in his first couple of at-bats.
“Most of the time, when that’s not happening, it’s with a lefty,” said Hamilton, who will keep his adjustment in mind against southpaw Madison Bumgarner in Game 4. “It’s kind of bailing out a little bit. That just needs to get down square, just like it would with a righty. I saw it after my first at-bat. I kind of leaked a little bit with my backside. Basically, I just have to nut up.”
Sometimes modern technology helps simplify things.