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Billy Hamilton had a whale of a game in his starting debut

Sep 19, 2013, 8:21 AM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Houston Astros Getty Images

So far Reds’ speedster Billy Hamilton has been deployed as a pinch runner/secret weapon. Last night he got a start, however, and boy what a start it was.

Hamilton went 3 for 4 — his first three major league hits — with two walks and four stolen bases against the Astros. He is the first player to get four stolen bases in his first major league start. One of his stolen bases led to the run which broke a 4-4 tie in the 13th inning. He’s now nine-for-nine in stolen base attempts.

In just one start and a couple of pinch running appearances Hamilton is tied for 37th in the NL in stolen bases. At the rate he’s going he could finish in the top ten despite being a September callup. That would be pretty trippy.

More significantly, he has to be putting the Reds in mind of placing him on the postseason roster. Sure, he’s not going to start much, but I feel like he’d be more valuable than a couple of the back-of-the-bullpen arms Dusty Baker may otherwise be inclined to carry around.

  1. jm91rs - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Please, tell Dusty Baker NOT to put him on the post season roster. Dusty likes to remind everyone that he played the game and he makes the decisions. If we all tell him NOT to put Hamilton on the roster, he’ll be on there for sure.

  2. chrisdtx - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Is he even eligible to be on the postseason roster? Those rules confuse me.

    • bcwildcat24 - Sep 19, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      As long as he was at least on the roster in September, I think he’s eligible.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        All he has to be is in the organization by the end of August. The rule originally was the player had to be on the 25 man roster, but that is gamed every year by swapping people over to the 60 day DL.

    • jm91rs - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      I also thought he wasn’t eligible because I thought he didn’t come up until after Sept 1, but apparently he is. I don’t get those rules I guess.

  3. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=30742753&topic_id=8877986

    TWO of those stolen bases were on pitch outs. That shit just isn’t fair.

    • hasbeen5 - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      As a pitcher, and someone who was usually the slowest guy on my team, all I can say is “Damn!”

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      I want a Molina vs Hamilton video. He has stolen a base on Molina yet?

      The last pitch out was VERY close. In the first one the catcher was in such a hurry he threw way off the base and the player couldn’t make the tag.

      It has to be extremely demoralizing to KNOW the guy is going to run on you, you ASK for a pitch out and he STILL steals the base.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        Answered my own question: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/reds-billy-hamilton-steals-against-yadier-molina-scores-144932571–mlb.html

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        I will note Molina also released extremely fast but at the cost of accuracy, if his throw had been closer to second he might have gunned down Hamilton. I’m happy Molina and Billy are in the same division, we need to see more face-offs like these! Kind of like Best of the Best.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        I’d love to see him run against Wieters. That would be a fun match-up. Or Pudge back in his prime. My god he had a cannon back then. I remember when he picked Brady Anderson off at second once.

        You keep mentioning that catchers are releasing extremely fast. Seems to me Hamilton’s speed is what is forcing them to rush their throws. If he wasn’t so fast, they would be able to take more time to get an accurate throw.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Yes, that’s correct. It’s not a knock on the catchers. It’s a decision they have to make on speed vs accuracy. And it’s mostly instinct. It’s not like they can stop and decide. As I said on the last pitch out, the Astros catcher had a plan: he had his pitch out, he knew exactly how he wanted to throw to second and made a speedy and accurate throw…. Hamilton STILL stole the base.

      • cur68 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM

        We need to see Billy Hamilton vs Sally Perez. Sally is quicker than Yadi, I do believe. He’d have the time to aim. Still probably need a pitch out, though.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      geez he’s fast!

  4. jm91rs - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Just noticed he doesn’t wear a switch hitter’s helmet. I wonder if he just has 2 or they haven’t gotten him one yet for the Big League Club?

  5. paco53 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Marty Brennaman, who has been broadcasting the Reds since 1973, and is in the National HOF, and who saw Johnny Bench for most of career, said Billy Hamilton might be able to steal on Bench. Bench is generally acknowledged as the best overall catcher in the history of the game. Hamilton is fast.

  6. psunick - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Stolen bases? Where’s the outrage from the sabermetric crowd??

    • Jeremy Fox - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      We’re outraged by making outs trying to steal. We’re all in favor of stealing by guys who don’t get thrown out much.

  7. 13arod - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    chrisdtx yes he is because he was part of september call up

  8. yankees1986 - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Question for all you Reds Fans!!

    Will Billy Hamilton get a starting spot this weekend against Pittsburgh or was did only start on Wednesday playing in an AL ballpark with the DH spot?

    • Marty McKee - Sep 19, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      I doubt he will start against PIT. He only started yesterday because it was the Asstros, and the Reds were going to win anyway. I’d be surprised if he starts another game until the division standings are clinched.

    • paco53 - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      I doubt that Hamilton will start. It was fun for one game but when you play games for all the marbles, you go with the vets.

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