Here's proof that most in the Chicago media don't know crap about baseball: All season long, they have been talking about how Jim Thome can't hit a fastball anymore. Wrong!
On Thursday night, the Sox faced a pure fastball pitcher in Tampa Bay's Edwin Jackson. Thome went 2-for-3 with a double, a single and a walk. He hits the fastball.
The problem is the breaking ball. Thome fishes for bad breaking balls out of the zone CONSTANTLY, and that is why his batting average is hovering around .200.
Case in point: the eighth inning Friday night. Thome comes up with two on and two out in a 1-1 game. He works the count to 3-2. Then, he swings at a breaking ball at his shoe-tops. He grounds weakly to first. Inning over, Sox go on to lose 2-1.
I've heard so many people say Thome has no bat speed. I disagree. If he had no bat speed, he'd be popping out to the left side of the infield. Instead, we see grounders to the right side and strikeouts. He's out in front of off-speed pitches. Until he starts recognizing that, he'll continue to struggle.