June 30, 2010

Triples!

Thanks to a strange bounce off the side of the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field Jim Thome tripled Monday for the first time since 2004. Thome went 73 months between triples, during which time he played in 770 games, logged 3,050 plate appearances, hit 179 homers, drove in 508 runs, and notched a total of 643 hits. There were 13 no-hitters between triples for Thome, whose last three-bagger came when Joe Mauer was a rookie and I was in college.

No doubt motivated by watching Thome leg out what must be one of the most leisurely triples of all time, Denard Span amazingly hit three triples in the first five innings last night. He had a chance to set the post-1900 record with a fourth triple, but walked instead to settle for tying Ken Landreaux for the Twins' single-game record, becoming the first player with three triples in a game since Rafael Furcal in 2002, and leading the AL with seven triples on the season.

Better yet, despite a terrible April and several prolonged slumps this year Span is now batting .284/.356/.394, which is within range of his .305/.390/.422 career line coming into the season. Ichiro Suzuki and Elvis Andrus are the only AL hitters with a higher on-base percentage from the leadoff spot this season and since his debut in 2008 the only outfielders with a higher OBP than Span are Manny Ramirez, Shin-Soo Choo, Matt Holliday, J.D. Drew, and Adam Dunn.

  • http://keaneobservation.blogspot.com/ Largebill

    Aaron,

    The Thome triple is more interesting to me than Span’s. We expect Span to get around ten a year. As soon as Thome reached third last night I posted on our league website that he hit for the cycle. My brother shortly thereafter said “Huh? He’s only got one hit tonight.” I responded that Thome gets an entire season to complete a cycle not just a single game. :-)

  • mike

    Love the Blog, Keep it up please. Thank you

  • justme

    While I look forward to Cuddyer *not* playing third every day, it’s good to know that it gives Gardenhire the option of slotting Thome in for *seven* different hitters:

    Thome for Kubel at DH
    Thome for Cuddyer or Young w Kubel in the field
    Thome for Morneau or Punto with Cuddyer in the field
    Thome for Hudson or Hardy with Cuddyer at 3B and Punto in the middle

    Even if no one gets hurt, that’s a lot more chances to see Thome at the plate. Nice.

  • Peter

    That will be the last triple in the HoF career of Jim Thome.. His OPS right now might give him more at PS’s.

  • http://thebatshatters.blogspot.com Adam

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but after that triple he hit off the facing of the right field wall (with the bases loaded) he almost looked mad/disappointed that it didn’t go out. Loved watching the show he put on last night.

  • ThatGuy

    He probably was mad, he was DHing so they couldn’t pinch run, and he had to hustle(for him turtle speed) as opposed to jog(snail speed) around the bases. Big Jim doesn’t like running.

  • John

    @Adam…he was totally in a HR trot right out of the box. Maybe the right word for his look was “embarrassed”? Could have been an inside-the-park grand slam if he’d been going hard from the get-go.

    Still, he did put on a show. Definitely deserved the standing O later in the game.