Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Brothers LaRoche Dump Mets; Thome Notches #550
Players of the Day for Monday, June 1, 2009 American League With the score tied, 2-2 and two runners on with one out in the 8th inning, Jim Thome stepped to the plate in a pressure situation and delivered home run #550, busting the game open as the White Sox dumped the A's, 6-2, their 4th straight win, putting the Sox 3 1/2 games behind the Tigers, in second place in the AL Central. For Thome, the drama has become routine over the years, as he has established himself as one of the pre-eminent (and non-steroid using) home run hitters of the era. Monday's shot was his ninth on the year, the 3 RBI giving him 32. In his 19th major league season, Thome, 38, still seems to have plenty of pop in his swing. Over the past three seasons, he's averaged 37 home runs and 98 home runs. Having just passed Mike Schmidt (248) for 13th place on the career HR list, dead ahead are Alex Rodriguez (560), whom he probably won't catch, Reggie Jackson (563), Rafael Palmeiro (569), Harmon Killebrew (573), Mark McGwire (583), Frank Robinson (586). With A-Rod pacing him, Thome is likely to reach #10 this season and enter the elite 600-club next year. National League Opening a four-game series hosting the NY Mets, the Pirates fell behind, 5-0, after just three innings, but that was before the brothers LaRoche, Andy (left) and Adam (right), went to work. Adam, the elder of the two, was batting 4th, with Andy, in the six hole. In the 4th inning, Adam stroked a one-out double to right, and scored, after a walk to Eric Hinske, when Andy tripled both of them home. Andy scored on a ground out to make the score 5-3, Mets. In the 8th, still trailing 5-3, Adam led off with his second double of the night and scored on Andy's single. Andy later scored to tie the game, but the Pirates continued the assault against reliever J.J. Putz, eventually scoring 5 times for the final score of 8-5. Adam finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs, while Andy went 2-for-4, with a triple, 3 RBI and two runs. The Pirates remain mired near the bottom of the NL Central, while the Mets have dropped 1 1/2 games behind NL East-leader Philadelphia, winners of 4 straight.