With one swing of the bat, 42-year-old Jason Giambi turned around the Indians fortunes. The super-super veteran clobbered his ninth home run of the season to give the Tribe yet another victory, improving to 87-70 on the season.
For Giambi, it was his 10th career walk-off home run. Incredibly, he only had four such game-ending home runs in the first 15 seasons of his MLB career — spanning from 1995-2009 and 8,135 plate appearances. Over the last four seasons of part-time play, he has six walk-off homers in just 698 plate appearances.
Shockingly, those six regular walk-offs over the last four years are tied with LA Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for the most in baseball. No one else has five. Four other batters — an eclectic crew of Jay Bruce, Johnny Damon, Josh Hamilton, Mark Trumbo and Ryan Zimmerman — all have four. Another 15 players have three walk-offs.
Overall, 17 of Giambi’s 33 hits in the 2013 season have been for extra bases. Each of his last four homers have come in the eighth inning or later. Yet he has only two doubles since July 3. It’s been an incredibly quirky season for the batter who now is hitting .181/.280/.374 on the season.
His heroics in the clutch, as well as the surprising play of his fellow Goon Squad members, are a huge reason for the Indians’ incredible turnaround this season. Previously, I’ve written about a mock bet involving Giambi homers or Browns wins (ha). I’ve also written about his early season slugging tear and about the team’s incredibly balanced offensive production. For now, let’s just enjoy this miracle of a win.