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Here’s a fun fact about Milwaukee Brewers slugger Eric Thames’ 2017 season so far. Well, it’s fun anywhere but Cincinnati.
In 2012, which was Thames’ last season in MLB before flaming out and going to play in Korea, he hit nine homers in 86 games. In 2017, the season in which has returned to MLB seeking retribution, he has already hit 10 homers in 19 games. It’s an amazing comeback story that baseball fans anywhere could love — well, anywhere but Cincinnati.
Thames hit two more homers Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds in the Brewers’ 11-7 win, which brought his league-leading homer total at 10. Would you believe seven of those 10 have come against the Reds? In just five games? And that they’ve all come in the last 12 days? It’s all true. Plus those seven homers against the Reds by themselves would tie him for the league lead.
It’s a wonder that nobody has changed the Reds’ Wikipedia page to make Thames their owner. Reds manager Bryan Price told MLB.com:
“He’s not missing. As the saying goes, you may get one good pitch to hit in your at-bat and you don’t want to miss it. He’s not missing it.”
You might know the Thames story by now, but if not: He went to Korea and hit 124 homers in three seasons. The Brewers liked him enough to give him a three-year, $15 million deal. He’s almost earned all that in a month the way he’s playing. So far, Thames has tied the Brewers’ franchise record for homers in the month of Apri and set a new record with 24 runs scored.
“It’s crazy with baseball,” Thames told MLB.com. “There are some teams that somehow the ball finds your barrel. … I don’t know. I’m just trying to play ball and get a good pitch to hit, and tonight it went in my favor and the team’s favor.”
The other side of Thames’ roaring start is that opponents are starting to complain. After Thames torched the Cubs last week — he’s also hitting .359 with a league-high .828 slugging percentage — they made some round-about implications that Thames might be cheating.
Some Reds fans on Twitter, meanwhile, aren’t being roundabout and they aren’t stopping with implications. They’re straight up accusing him.
There are also a bunch of tweets like this floating around the Internet:
Of course, Thames was tested last week during that series with the Cubs. So remember fans who throw out blanket PEDs accusations online doesn’t always do so much as a basic Internet search first.
The most amusing part of the Thames comeback story might have happened earlier in the day Monday. Steve Delabar, a Cleveland Indians pitcher for whom Thames was traded in 2012 was actually suspended by MLB for a failed PED test.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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