Walker pragmatic about hit streak's end

Walker pragmatic about hit streak's end

NEW YORK -- Neil Walker's 18-game hitting streak quietly came to an end in Monday's loss. However, in talking to him one day later, that might not necessarily have been all that disappointing.

Walker, a self-described superstitious-type, had refrained from talking much about the streak while it was ongoing, though he admits now that it was impossible to ignore. That became especially true after he hit safely in each of the Pirates' games in Cincinnati over the weekend.

In doing so, the second baseman matched Rennie Stennett for the longest hitting streak by a Pittsburgh rookie since 1971. Only one rookie in franchise history -- Jimmy Williams in 1899 -- had a longer one.

And still ...

"Part of me is happy that it's over," Walker said, "but part of me is happy that it seemed like the hits that I was getting were good hits. Obviously, I knew it was going to come to an end at some point, but I was happy to put a string like that together."

Walker batted .364 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 18 RBIs and 12 runs during the 18 games. His streak also marked the third longest by any player in the National League this season. San Francisco's Buster Posey hit safely in 21 games, and Corey Hart amassed a 20-game hitting streak.

"I'm team first, obviously," Walker said, noting his effort to put the hitting streak behind the Pirates' results. "At the same time, when good things like this happen, it's a new experience. Sometimes it's not a good thing to be thinking about when you've got situations where you think you might be walked or pitched around. You want to stay within yourself and stay within your game."