Jim Thome had gone hitless as a pinch hitter so far this season for the Phillies, but on Saturday his walk-off blast showed he might just be worth hanging on to.
The homer won the game for the Phillies after Jonathan Papelbon blew a two-run lead in the top of the ninth inning. Papelbon had been a perfect 17-17 in save opportunities, but with two outs gave up a series of hits that allowed the Rays to tie things up at 6.
After walking off the mound Papelbon announced “Five-grand to anyone who walks this guy off.”
It only took one AB.
Thome’s homer had plenty of historical significance. It was his 13th – game-winner, which is a major-league record. He’s a top a pretty amazing list.
- Jim Thome – 13
- Babe Ruth – 12
- Mickey Mantle – 12
- Jimmie Fox – 12
- Stan Musial 12
- Frank Robinson – 12
All of course are Hall of Famers. No doubt Thome will join them someday.
Thome’s 609th home run also tied him with Sammy Sosa for 7th all-time on baseball’s home run list.
Much talk has been made over Thome’s role with the Phillies now that Interleague play is over, and whether he can be of any value to the Phillies as a pinch hitter, since his ailing back will keep him off the field. After today the Phillies will have to keep the debate going, as Thome has homered 5 times in the Phillies last 12 games.
Thome would not confirm taking any money from Papelbon, but you can imagine either way Pap was pretty happy with how it ended.
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