"The biggest thing now is understanding that you cannot make up for a whole season in two months," Hamilton said. "So, don't try to do that, because it puts more pressure on yourself and causes you to try to do a little too much. So just prepare, like you do every day, and play."
Hamilton -- with a .223/.280/.411 slash line through 110 games entering Tuesday, with 17 homers and 56 RBIs -- has shown flashes of reverting back to the prolific slugger of his Texas days.
But there has been no sustainability.
He went 9-for-24 toward the end of April, then got five hits in his next 37 at-bats. He hit .372 during a 12-game stretch that seeped into July, then batted .183 over his next 17 contests. He entered Tuesday riding a three-game stretch in which he's notched five hits and a walk in 14 plate appearances, trying his best to find some sort of consistency.
"The last few games, I've felt better," Hamilton said. "I've had these spurts this year where I feel good for six, seven, eight, nine games, then back to the 'what happened?' feeling. In the past, I've never felt that before. Usually if I go through a slump, I'll bust out of it and stay out of it for a while. It's something new. It's been a growing process, I feel like, because I've never struggled like this in the game before."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.