There’s a little magic left in Jason Giambi’s bat after all.
The 42-year-old former MVP, who entered with a .177 average in 181 at-bats this season, hit a walkoff homer off Addison Reed in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Indians a 5-4 win over the White Sox on Tuesday.
It was the Indians’ fifth straight win, upping their record to 87-70 and keeping them in wild card position with five games to go.
The White Sox took the lead in the top of the ninth tonight on solo homers from Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza off embattled closer Chris Perez. It was Perez’s fifth blown save in 30 tries. Reed countered with his eighth blown save in 47 chances.
Incredibly, it was the second time this year Giambi hit a walkoff homer off Reed. He did so in a tie game back on July 29. He has 10 career walkoff homers.
The homer was the 438th of Giambi’s career, tying him with Andre Dawson and Adam Dunn for 39th place on the all-time list. The only active players with more are Alex Rodriguez (654), Manny Ramirez (555) and Albert Pujols (492).
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.