Josh Hamilton says he’s “never, ever” struggled this long

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Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 yesterday and is now hitting .216 with a .657 OPS and 61 strikeouts through 56 games for the Angels.

Asked after his latest 0-for whether he’s gotten off to a slow start like this before Hamilton replied: “Never, ever–from the first time I picked up a ball to now, no.”

Hamilton also expressed confidence that he’ll get things turned around, telling Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:

Take a poll of every player in this clubhouse and see if I’m going to come out of it or not. The proof is in what’s gone on in the past. I’ve struggled at times and always come out of it.

I’d actually be sort of fascinated to see the result of such a poll, if it were somehow possible to conduct it while getting truthful answers of course. Seems like a pretty good bet that at least a few of Hamilton’s new teammates are skeptical about him returning to the level that got him a five-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

Watch: Brian McCann’s incredible tag nails Greg Bird at home plate

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Things got a little wild in the fifth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday. With one out and runners at the corners, Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton fired a 1-1 fastball to Todd Frazier. Frazier returned the ball to third baseman Alex Bregman, who tossed a perfect throw over to Brian McCann at the plate just as Greg Bird came charging home. McCann’s setup was flawless, nailing Bird as he slid into the plate and nullifying the Yankees’ first real attempt to get on the board.

That’s as close as the Yankees have come to scoring so far. The Astros took an early 1-0 lead with Evan Gattis‘ 405-footer off of CC Sabathia in the top of the fourth inning. Jose Altuve chimed in with an opposite-field solo shot in the fifth, while McCann followed his lead-preserving tag with an equally jaw-dropping two-out, two-RBI double. Houston currently leads 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.