September 24, 2013 – Jason Giambi Walkoff Keeps the Tribe’s Playoff Hopes Alive
Back in Game 16 of the 2013 season, a 5-RBI game likely kept Jason Giambi on the roster. In Game 105 he became the oldest player to hit a walkoff home run.
The Indians entered this Tuesday night contest barely hanging on to the second wildcard spot. The White Sox sent Hector Santiago to the hill to face Ubaldo Jiminez. After two rough years, Ubaldo had been carrying the Indians rotation since Justin Masterson’s early-season injury.
Michael Brantley put the Tribe out in front with an RBI single in the bottom of the second.
Jiminez walked Connor Gillespie to lead of the top of the fourth. Paul Konerko singled to right to advance Gillispie to third. After Ubaldo struck out Adam Dunn, Avasail Garcia hit a long fly to left. Gillespie scampered home to score on the sacrifice.
Jiminez gave up five hits and struck out seven over 6 ⅓ innings of work. In the top of the seventh he gave up a single to Gordan Beckham and walked Josh Phegley. Cody Allen entered the game looking to end the threat. Alejandro De Aza singled to left, scoring Beckham and putting the Sox up 2-1.
Michael Brantley took Hector Santiago’s first pitch deep into right field to tie things up. Mike Aviles lined one into left for a single. Michael Bourn laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Aviles over to second. Nate Jones came on to pitch and got Nick Swisher to fly out to center. Jason Kipnis stepped in and lined Jones’ 1-1 pitch into left to put the Tribe on top 3-2.
Joe Smith retired Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, and Avisail Garcia in order in the eighth. Nate Jones returned the favor.
Chris Perez came on looking for the save in the top of the ninth. Dayan Viciedo smashed Perez’ third pitch over the right field wall to tie the game. Perez struck out the next two White Sox before he hung the first pitch to Alejandro De Aza. De Aza’s homer to right-center put the Sox up 4-3. After Alexei Ramirez poked a single through the left side of the infield, Perez left the mound to a chorus of boos.
Marc Rzepczynski hit the only batter he faced before Bryan Shaw got the final out of the ninth.
Yan Gomes struck out swinging to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Michael Brantley poked a single through the right side of the infield and was safely aboard. Mike Aviles struck out, and things were looking bleak. Michael Brantley stole second to get into scoring position with Jason Giambi at the plate.
Giambi crushed Addison Reed’s 1-1 pitch deep into right field. This was his third pinch-hit walkoff for the Indians. “Yeah I ran into it, I hit it,” Giambi said. “There’s nothing more special, that’s what keeps me coming back every year.” With that he bested his own record as the oldest player to hit a walkoff homer.
Soak in this Hammy Call:
Jason Kipnis put it best in a post-game tweet, “Are you shitting me with this game tonight!! Big G and the Goon Squad comin thru again!! Unreal game tonight!!”
Now, contrast with the call from Hawk Harrelson:
This was the Indians 11th walkoff win of the season, and fifth win in a row. Most importantly, it kept them 1 game ahead of the Rangers in the Wild Card race.