Wednesday evening produced the formal introduction of Billy Hamilton to the MLB masses as it was his first MLB start. With Hamilton, we know of all those steals while he was in the minors. 395 of them to be exact. Some wondered how well that would translate to the big show. An issue this season was his on-base percentage. After all, you honestly can’t steal first base.
Well, this performance may have a few jaws still lying on the floor.
It took the Cincinnati Reds 13 innings, but they finally overcame the Houston Astros by a score of 6-5. With their win coupled with a loss by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincy is only a half game behind the Buccos in the NL Central standings. Hamilton did play a significant role into the game’s final outcome. Here’s how he fared in each of his plate appearances.
Top of 4th: Again, two outs and this time Hamilton produces a single. He is left stranded on second, but not before swiping his first base of the evening.
Top of 6th: For the third time, Hamilton bats with two outs, but Hamilton would deliver his first MLB RBI as his grounder down the third base line hit the bag for a single, plating Devin Mesoraco. Hamilton would once again steal second base, but, as was the case in the 4th, he was stranded there. (VIDEO)
Top of 9th: Hamilton walks on four pitches. Yep, he stole second for yet a third time, but would not score.
Top of 10th: Billy strikes out looking.
Top of 13th: Another walk, this time on six pitches. Theft #4 of the night…on a pitch out, no less. Hamilton would come around to score on a Jay Bruce double, the hit that would produce the winning margin. (VIDEO)
Did I count correctly? Hamilton had taken three strides from the pitcher’s first movement until the ball was released toward home?
On this night, six plate appearances, 3-for-4, a pair of runs scored, two walks, only one strikeout, and four steals. He now owns 9 steals on the season, which ranks him second on the Reds. The team leader in that stat is Choo with 18.
There’s no way Hamilton is left off the Reds postseason roster, right?