Two home runs on Friday. Two inning-changing walks on Saturday.
So what does Josh Hamilton do for a Sunday encore?
A two-out bases clearing game winning pinch hit double to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Rangers win and send the Red Sox limping out of town having lost three of four. And give the Rangers their first series win at home this year.
After playing .333 baseball in the month of April with just seven wins and seemingly left for dead, the Texas Rangers have totally turned around their season with a 19-11 May, which is .633 baseball.
This team is now one game above .500. It’s a lofty position the Rangers haven’t seen since June 6th of last season when they beat Cleveland 6-4 to go 31-30. They went on to lose 31 of their next 40 games, though, and fell off the face of the Earth.
That was last year. This is this year. And the most unbelievable thing of all is the reemergence of Josh Hamilton.
There was a better chance of Ron Washington winning Manager of the Year honors than of Josh Hamilton ever wearing a Rangers uniform again.
But you have to hand it to Rangers fans. Once he put on the uniform, they stripped him of all the stupidity he wore when he left.
They have more than embraced him. Josh Hamilton is the king of Dallas Fort Worth. He has instantly become the fan’s favorite player.
He has already done the impossible. Now he is going to be asked to do even more. He has to replace Adrian Beltre in the lineup, who is lost to the DL with a sprained thumb after sliding into second.
Early reports say it’s just a 15-day stay on the disabled list. But that is just silly optimism. Thumbs take forever to heal, especially for a power hitter.
In fact, one doesn’t have to look further than our very own Josh Hamilton to see how true that is.
Last season, Hamilton injured his thumb sliding into a base and missed the next six weeks of the season, and then never came back full strength. In fact, he was so bad when he came back, he caused the Angels owner to go legally insane.
Yes, it’s a different injury, or at least initial reports are. Hamilton tore his ulnar collateral ligament. Beltre strained his thumb.
But we shall see the true extent in the coming weeks. Or, more likely, months.
In the meantime, Josh Hamilton will be asked to step into the cleanup role. He already has the suit of armor. No problem.