“It’s fun being fast.”
That’s the quote of the night as far as I’m concerned. That’s how Billy Hamilton described his disrupting of Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants on the basepaths en route to a Reds win.
Hamilton reached second base in the first inning and his presence and reputation clearly affected the Giants. As C. Trent Rosecrans’ game story explains, the Giants’ infielders were focusing a bit more than usual on who was covering second. Tim Lincecum was clearly thinking about Hamilton too. His pickoff throw sailed into the outfield and Hamilton scored, kicking off a four-run innings for the Reds.
Hamilton reached again in the fifth thanks to an infield single. He stole second, Hector Sanchez’s throw went into the outfield and Hamilton stole third and then came home to score on a Brandon Phillips double. After the game Lincecum said that Hamilton “flustered” him.
Oh, Hamilton also ran down a gapper by Pablo Sandoval in the third inning, turning what could have been extra bases into a sac fly.
Speed kills, y’all.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.