Wednesday, June 7th. 8:40PM.
The Tigers and White Sox have played to a 2-2 tie and it's the bottom of the 6th. Jim Thome comes up with one out and none on against Justin Verlander.
Verlander had been pitching well, giving up only 4 hits and one walk when Big Jim stepped up to the plate. It was vintage Thome. He worked the count full and worked the youngster to get a pitch to hit, a count favorable to him. He hit his 2nd HR of Verlander in 2006 and gave the Sox a 3-2 lead. It's the Jim Thome Style.
It was his league-leading 21st HR. He's hitting .296/.431/.667 after that AB. This isn't just being a "good hitter". Thome knows how to work the pitcher, get a pitch he wants to hit or take the walk and get on base for the next guy. He sees 4.19 pitches per at bat, which is 11th overall in the AL. Sox teammate Scott Podsednik is #6 and Jermaine Dye is #13.
Out of the 98 qualifying players in the NL, you won't find a Cub until #55, Todd Walker. The bottom of that list is littered with Cubs:
- #78, Michael Barrett
- #79, Juan Pierre
- #81, Aramis Ramirez
- #86, Jacque Jones
- #96, Ronny Cedeno
Up next, how lack of patience leads to ground ball outs.
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