The Jason Giambi Report

So there I was last night, the ultimate baseball nerd watching on four games on the freaking magnificent MLB.TV package (yes Dinn Mann, that is indeed a testimonial).

I was watching the Rangers hold off the Astros, the Jays top the Rays, but my primary focus was on two games: one that ended in heartbreak, one that ended in jubilation.

Baseball is such a cruel game

You can hit a ball on the screws and watch a screeching liner go right into the mitt of a shortstop, or you can get a piece of a pitch like Ryan Zimmerman did with two outs in the 9th inning last night and bounce it just over a 6’6″ pitcher’s head and as it dribbles toward the shortstop, in this case, the charging Pete Kozma, you can watch as he grabbed it with his bare hand and make an off-balance throw to first that was a little wide, pulling first baseman Matt Adams off the bag and as Zimmerman reached first, you can watch Michael Wacha lose a no-hitter as the Cards topped the Nats, 2-0.

Baseball is a game of uncontrolled exuberant joy

These days I’m Cleveland Indians game watching or scoreboard watching. They they were in the top of the 9th inning leading the Paler-by-the-game Hose, 3-2. And then, closer Chris Perez gave up a homer to Dayan Viciedo, to tie the score and two strike outs later, a Alejandro De Aza homer gave the White Sox at 4-3 lead.

With all of the pain the White Sox have been through this season, you certainly can’t blame closer Addison Reed for much of it. After he recorded the first out of the 9th via a whiff, Michael Brantley hit a ground ball off the glove of second baseman Gordon Beckham, who reached for it like a bullfighter flaunting his cape. Mike Aviles then gave Reed his second strikeout of the inning.

Up to the plate, stepped a grizzly old man – Jason Giambi. He has been an enormous influence on this team in the clubhouse and made some important contributions on the field as well.

On the second pitch, Brantley stole second uncontested, almost as if it were defensive indifference except Brantley represented the tying run. So in a brief period of time I saw two strikes against the White Sox this season: fielding that was questionable and baseball tactics that were as well. I then saw the third as the 42-year old Giambi lifted an enormous drive toward right field. The only question was whether this shot would reach the second deck.

Giambi trotted around the bases with his second pinch-hit walkoff homer of the season and the 10th of his career.

He is the oldest player to hit a walkoff homer, breaking his own record which he set on July 29 when he broke the mark previously held by Hank Aaron.

Nine different Indians have contributed to their 11 walkoff wins this season.

Giambi now has nine homers on the season and 438 all-time which tied him Andre Dawson and Adam Dunn for 39th place on the all-time HR list.

Player HR From To Age G PA AB Tm
Vladimir Guerrero 449 1996 2011 21-36 2147 9059 8155 MON-ANA-LAA-TEX-BAL
Jeff Bagwell 449 1991 2005 23-37 2150 9431 7797 HOU
Dave Kingman 442 1971 1986 22-37 1941 7429 6677 SFG-TOT-CHC-NYM-OAK
Adam Dunn 438 2001 2013 21-33 1867 7805 6443 CIN-TOT-WSN-CHW
Jason Giambi 438 1995 2013 24-42 2232 8833 7203 OAK-NYY-TOT-COL-CLE
Andre Dawson 438 1976 1996 21-41 2627 10769 9927 MON-CHC-BOS-FLA
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/25/2013.

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