Thursday, May 10, 2012

Josh Hamilton Hits Four Home Runs

When Josh Hamilton (Texas Rangers) hit four home runs against the Orioles on Tuesday, he became just the 16th man in baseball history to accomplish the feat. More men (21) have thrown perfect games. Hamilton's performance was even more impressive than that, however. When you factor in the fact that Hamilton went 5-for-5 on the night, mixing a double in among his four homers, it could be argued that his was one of the handful of best single-game hitting performances in major league history.

The two most important things a hitter can do, independent of his teammates, is avoid outs and hit for extra bases. Four home runs add up to 16 total bases. Since 1918, just five men have had more than 16 total bases in a game. Hamilton is one of them. Only one man has ever hit for more total bases in a single game than Hamilton's 18. That was Shawn Green, who collected 19 for the Dodgers in 2002. Meanwhile, of the 17 men to have produced 16 or more total bases in a single game since 1918, just eight did so without making an out.

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