Josh Hamilton got off to amazing home run pace, going deep 18 times in his first 31 games. However, since homering nine times in a six-game stretch from May 7 to May 12–including his four-homer game on May 8–he’s yet to leave the ballpark.
Hamilton is homerless since May 12, which is a span of 11 games and 46 plate appearances. Now, for most hitters going homerless for two weeks wouldn’t be the least bit noteworthy, but Hamilton simply showing that he’s human at the plate qualifies as pretty big news considering his ridiculous start.
During that 11-game homerless stretch he’s still hitting .308 with a .348 on-base percentage and three doubles, but Hamilton’s slugging percentage is just .385 and his OPS is .732.
And here’s the amazing part: He still leads the league in homers, RBIs, extra-base hits, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, and Wins Above Replacement–many by wide margins–while also ranking second in batting average, on-base percentage, runs, hits, and times on base.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.