When Jim Thome is on his game, no less an authority than AJ Pierzynski says he’s as good as anybody. And as we all know that was the case last night as Gentleman Jim, one of the classiest and well-liked players in the game, was a one-man show as he smashed a three-run homer and a solo shot in the 6-2 Sox triumph over the Halos. That gives him 20 for the season and 561 in his career, just two behind Reggie Jackson.
On the flip side, when Jim is consistently striking out and grounding out to short right field, it causes huge frustration for Sox fans. We understand that even in a slump, he contributes by getting on base. Thome’s .391 on-base percentage is among the league leaders and ties him with Derek Jeter and Jason Bartlett. But sometimes I’d love to see a tape measure job, a double off the wall or a shift-defying opposite field single instead of a walk in clutch situations. In a very real way, he’s a victim of his own success because we have such high expectations every time he steps to the plate.
Gavin’s got a pair
Once upon a time in the City of Brotherly Love, a young pitcher named Gavin Floyd got the reputation of being soft. Sorry Philly, how wrong you were.
As we know, Floyd won 17 games a year ago so my observation is not breaking news. But each time he goes out and pitches like he did last night, we’re reminded about what a tough competitor he is. In fact, he is 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last eight starts at the Cell.
How’s No. 1 draft pick Jared Mitchell doing at Class A Kannapolis?
In his first 16 games, the speedy outfielder from LSU is hitting .294, with four doubles, a triple, a couple of stolen bases and a very impressive .419 on-base percentage. He’s still looking for his first homer.
An interesting fact about his on-base percentage is that Mitchell, who bats from the left side, is hitting .231 against lefties. However, he still has a .412 on-base percentage against southpaws.