Josh Hamilton is making his return to the Rangers today, starting in left field and batting fifth against the Indians in Cleveland.
In returning from both shoulder surgery and relapses in substance abuse it’ll be Hamilton’s first MLB game action since last October and his first start for the Rangers since the 2012 playoffs.
Acquired by the Rangers for a fraction of his remaining contract when the Angels decided to part ways with the former MVP regardless of cost, Hamilton hit .364 with one homer, five doubles, and a .937 OPS in a 12-game minor league rehab assignment at Double-A and Triple-A.
Last time he started in left field and batted fifth for the Rangers? July 27, 2010, when Texas’ lineup also included Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz, Bengie Molina, and Chris Davis.
On May 19, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hit his 15th home run of the season off of Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi in the first inning, moving into a tie with Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz for the major league lead. Cruz, however, retook the MLB lead in home runs, blasting number 16 in the third inning off of Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez not too long after.
It happened again on Friday night. Bryce Harper tied Cruz for the MLB lead when he ripped an opposite-field blast off of Phillies starter Sean O’Sullivan in the second inning. About an hour later, Cruz hit a solo shot off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada in the sixth inning, taking the MLB lead again at 17.
Cruz’s blast can be seen here.
Clayton Kershaw has the Cy Young Awards and the MVP. Madison Bumgarner has the rings and the World Series MVP. It’s kind of like a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady thing, I guess. Which makes me wonder why I haven’t seen the Very Important Thinkpiece comparing those two that way. I guess Plaschke and Jenkins are involved in some sort of arbitration over who gets to write that first.
Anyway, today the Dodgers and Giants are facing off and their aces are on the hill. At present: advantage Bumgarner. Because he took Kershaw deep a few minutes ago. Video of the dinger at that link. Embedded here later when MLB makes it embedable.
Right now it’s 2-0 Giants, as Hunter Pence also singled in a run. The Giants are, apparently, never losing again.
Oh, and Bumgarner has as many homers on the season as Robinson Cano and Joe Mauer.