If you weren’t blown away by A.J. Burnett’s numbers this month, prepare to be by this: In 24 games, Texas’ Josh Hamilton is hitting .470 (47-for-100) with nine homers, 30 RBIs and 23 runs scored. The Rangers are 20-5 in June (including the game Hamilton missed with a sore hamstring last week), bumping them to an AL West-best 46-29, which also stands as the second-best record in all of baseball.
As hot as Hamilton has been the entire month, he’s been especially smoking the past two weeks: Since June 13, he’s 28-for-53 (.528), including a little 2-for-9 funk over the past two games (which the Rangers won 7-2 and 10-1 over the Astros, with Hamilton hitting a three-run shot in the latter). His current hit streak is at 21 — the longest in the Majors this season.
Hamilton, a recovering drug addict that was suspended three full seasons and parts of two more, stole a few hearts with a Home Run Derby light show en route to a 32-homer, 130-RBI season in 2008, then had both career and personal setbacks last season, relapsing and hitting just 10 home runs over 89 injury-plague games. After seeing him going 1-for-11 with nine Ks in the Jays’ sweep of Texas last month in Toronto, I kind of got to thinking he may have been a one-year wonder. Oh well, egg on my face for that.
With the season starting to fade into oblivion up here, Hamilton’s mashing might be something worth paying attention to the rest of the way, along with Burnett’s ever-rising ERA and just how bad the Baltimore Orioles actually can be.