SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton went into Tuesday having not hit a home run in his last nine games. His trouble has been not swinging at pitches in the strike zone and instead chasing bad ones outside or in the dirt.
"Trust me, I've had this conversation with a lot of people ... mainly my wife," Hamilton said.
Hamilton went to work on Monday trying to fix the problem. Joey Prebynski, one of the Rangers' advanced scouts, filmed Hamilton taking batting practice. Hamilton and hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh then studied the session and noticed Hamilton wasn't staying square at the plate but instead was closing his stance too soon. That keeps him from getting a good look and having good "pitch recognition."
"It's amazing how one little thing can impact a lot of other things," Hamilton said. "That made everything speed up. A pitch that was 90 mph looked like 100."
During his last nine games, Hamilton was hitting .290 with six RBIs but also had a .323 slugging percentage and eight strikeouts in 31 at-bats.
"He's not making the other pitcher throw the ball in the zone," manager Ron Washington said. "I don't think the opposing pitchers have been that great. I see them doing the same things they've always been doing. Until Josh stops swinging at bad pitches, why throw him a strike?
"Sometimes Josh gets in a funk. Just like he has been swinging at pitches out of the zone the past few days, he could start crunching the ball the next few days. If Josh stops swinging at what he has been swinging at, they'll start throwing him pitches in the zone."
Added Washington: "Don't worry about Josh. He'll be fine."