Is it just me, or is Jim Thome coming through with big late-inning hits for the White Sox with a little more frequency this year?
Thome struck again Monday night, when he hit a 3-run, opposite-field bomb off Oakland's Santiago Casilla to break a 2-2 tie and help lift the Sox to a 6-2 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
I went back through the game logs and found that this is the sixth game-changing clutch hit for Thome already this season. Here are the other five:
1. April 7 vs Kansas City: With the Sox trailing 2-1 in the eighth, Thome hits a 3-run blast off Kyle Farnsworth. Sox win 4-2.
2. April 12 vs. Minnesota: Game tied 1-1 in the sixth, when Thome rips a 2-run shot off Nick Blackburn. Sox go on to win 6-1.
3. May 1 vs. Texas: Sox trail 3-0 in the sixth. Bases loaded, two outs. Rangers bring in lefty Derek Holland to face Thome. Doesn't work. Thome clears the bases with a 3-run double. Sox eventually win 4-3.
4. May 12 vs. Cleveland: Sox squander an early lead and fall behind 4-3. Thome hits his second homer of the game in the fifth, a 2-run shot off Jeremy Sowers that puts the Sox in front 5-4. Sox win 7-4.
5. May 18 vs. Toronto: Sox trail 2-0 in the eighth. Thome ties the game with a 2-run homer off tough Blue Jays lefty Jesse Carlson. Unfortunately, the Sox lose 3-2, but it wasn't Thome's fault.
It seems like Thome is debunking his reputation for being "unclutch" in the late innings this year. He's coming through with regularity, even when the opposition brings in a lefty to face him. Thome might be 38 years old, but he still has a little something left.