Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hamilton's Speed Causes Havoc

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hamilton's Speed Causes Havoc

Article excerpt

There are, apparently, balls that are not deep enough for Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton to try to advance on.

"Not if it's to the pitcher or the catcher," Hamilton said.

Other than that, however, just about anything is fair game. While a slow start at the plate had kept Hamilton the most dangerous base runner in the majors in years from showing his stuff in the young season, he got the chance on Wednesday. He had three hits a triple, a single and a bunt single, along with a walk stole two bases and tagged up and advanced twice, manufacturing runs out of the most minimal of chances.

"You see a guy like him with speed," Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said, "he's going to change the game."

"I've never seen anyone run the bases like he does," pitcher Shelby Miller said.

Hamilton's impact was plain to see in the fifth inning of the Reds' 4-0 win. He started the inning with a single and got such a good jump off Miller that he stole second without a throw from Molina. He tagged up and went to third on a fly ball to right center that Jon Jay cut in front of Peter Bourjos to catch so he would have the better throwing angle. Jay's throw was up the third-base line.

"You've got to put pressure on guys," Hamilton said. "You can't let them sit back and relax. Baseball is about putting pressure on the opposite team. Either he's gonna make a good throw or I'm going to be on third with less than two out and Joey Votto up."

Two batters later Votto walked was a play that may become Hamilton's signature. Jay Bruce hit a fly ball to short right, and as he left the batter's box, he slammed his bat down in frustration over a failed chance. Second baseman Kolten Wong backed up to make the catch, but was waved off by Jay, who caught the ball about 25 feet behind the infield dirt.

With the ball in the air, Reds third base coach Steve Smith told Hamilton, "I want to see how fast you really are. …

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