After yesterday’s impressive 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox coupled with the LA Angels loss in their second game of a doubleheader to the Texas Rangers, the Baltimore Orioles (92-67) have clinched a playoff berth for the first time since the ’97 season.
Although they have only clinched a Wild Card berth, meaning they could possibly have to battle the Athletics for that one Wild Card spot before officially qualifying for the playoffs, they’ve still made it to the first barrier of the playoffs.
Making it this far has been a great accomplishment already, but the Orioles are not done yet. There have been a number of heroes this season for the Birds, but one of the most important players this postseason could be one of their most recent acquisitions.
Although he joined the team more than halfway through the year and recently recovered from a month and a half stint on the DL, veteran Jim Thome’s presence is appreciated.
The 42-year-old is in the midst of his 22nd major league season, and he’s played on some very prominent teams in his career, including the Cleveland Indians throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, among other playoff teams.
Thome might not be in the starting lineup for each playoff game (if the Birds advance that far), but he will be on the bench and available in high-pressure situations.
Check out these four reasons why Thome is the perfect bench player for the playoff-bound Orioles.