Jim Thome has gotten extremely good at jumping on home plate and getting bombarded by his teammates as Thome now stands alone as the All-time leader in walk-off home runs in baseball history. Thome passes an assortment of Hall of Famers on the list, such as Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and Frank Robinson to name a few. His home run also ties himself with Sammy Sosa in seventh on the All-time home runs list with 609 HRs. The home run off of Rays pitcher Jake McGee was a 96 MPH fastball on the outside corner of the plate, which Thome so very typically took opposite field for the win.
The Phillies did not start off well against the Rays, quickly losing 3-0 by the third inning thanks to a Jeff Keppinger double deep to center-field. After Rays starting pitcher James Shields brought in Keppinger with a ground ball out, the Phillies got on the board with Jimmy Rollins 344 foot blast that brought the score to 3-2 Rays. Juan Pierre followed the inning after with an unusual three-run home run that gave the Phillies the 5-3 lead. With a 6-4 lead going into the ninth inning, the Phillies looked to be in good shape with closer Jonathan Papelbon taking the mound, but Papelbon blew his first save of the season by giving up hits to Keppinger and Brooks Conrad allowing the game to be tied up at six, going into the bottom of the ninth. Then, it was Thome time.
“You never forget them,” Thome said. “These are moments you never know how long you’ll have them.” Thome certainly gave the Citizens Bank Park sold out crowd a memory they were certain not to forget. Some reports have even said that Jonathan Papelbon, frustrated that he had just blown his first save of the year, wrote Thome a check for $5,000 after the game for at least salvaging the Phillies victory after his mistake. Now, Thome has been in the league for many years, so it is doubtful that this check was really necessary to his well-being. Instead Papelbon should worry about not giving up any more blown saves, and if he were really in the mood for donating large amounts of money, he should at least do it to a worthy cause, instead of Thome, who clearly has done this routine before, and does not need to be told of a job well done. Congratulations finally to manager Charlie Manuel, who with this win, earns his 900th career win.
The Phillies move on to play a day-night doubleheader against the Rays on Sunday, as they wish to finish the weekend off with two more wins. Finally a tip of the hat to Mr. Thome, and a tip of the hat to Mr. Manuel, and a wag of the finger to Mr. Papelbon for acting somewhat foolish in his actions.
About the Author
Written by Matt LaCoille
My name is Matt LaCoille and I am an extremely passionate sports fan. I've enjoyed watching my favorite sports teams since I was born, as well as talk to people about the everyday state of professional sports. Sports are my life, my passion, and my future. I have interned with multiple professional sports teams and organizations as well within the athletic departments of multiple colleges and universities. I currently attend Western New England University with a major in sports management and will continue to pursue a masters in sports administration afterwords. My goal is to one day work full time within a professional sports organization and do what I truly enjoy. Feel free to comment on the articles or message if you would like to talk sports, I'm very open to discussion. Thanks for reading!