Josh Hamilton already dealt with being booed on the road to start the season, and now he’s hearing the boos at home, too.
Hamilton was booed on Friday night during the Angels’ 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton DHd and batted fifth, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Multiple people noted that he was getting booed during the night, and OC Register sports intern Sam Strong says the boos got worse each time he came up hitless.
Hamilton has struggled to start the season and Angels fans are growing impatient with his and the team’s struggles. Since homering in back-to-back games against Houston on April 13 and 14 for his only dingers of the season, Hamilton has not had an extra-base hit. He’s also struck out 22 times and only walked twice since the 14th.
Hamilton was not in the lineup on Saturday and likely given the day off to collect himself. He took extra batting practice before the game and worked on his timing.
One of Hamilton’s biggest issues is how poor his approach has been. The guy regularly gets fooled by offspeed stuff and seriously looks sometimes like he has never seen a breaking ball before in his life. When he was struggling with the Texas Rangers last year, Nolan Ryan said he was chasing pitches and giving away at-bats. That’s pretty much been the story this year.
Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron wrote an article about Hamilton on Tuesday and said the slugger was “swinging himself into oblivion.” The article noted that Hamilton is chasing pitches outside the strike zone nearly 45 percent of the time. That statistical data certainly corresponds with the visual evidence. In order to turn around his season, Hamilton needs to curb his hack-happy approach.