It was the type of moment that Marcus Thames probably thought he’d enjoy many times during his career when he was coming up in the New York Yankees farm system: tie score, two outs, bottom of the ninth against the hated Boston Red Sox. Thames, a former Yankees prospect who is back with the Yankees this season after seven years with Texas and Detroit, became the latest hero in the Yankees-Red Sox saga when he hit a walk-off two-run homerun last night to cap off a wild game in the House That Jeter Built.
The Yanks led 6-1 after two innings and 6-2 as late as the fourth before the Red Sox came all the way back to take a 9-7 lead into the ninth inning. But Alex Rodriguez tied the score with a one-out two-run homerun, and three batters later Thames delivered the game-winning blast to give the Yankees the come-from-ahead victory.
Thames, of course, made his major league debut with the Yankees in 2003 and hit the first pitch he ever saw – a fastball from Randy Johnson – for a homerun at the old Yankees Stadium. So, just for today, Marcus Thames can say that the first pitch he ever saw in the majors was a homerun, and the last pitch he saw in the majors was a homerun. Of course, I knew Marcus Thames was special the first time he ever saw him play.