ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were an out away from being tied for the second Wild Card spot with the Indians on Tuesday night. While Texas was up, 3-2, on the Astros, Jason Giambi hit two-run shot in the ninth to give Cleveland a 5-4 walk-off win over the White Sox.
"Wasn't shocked, not shocked even at 42 years old," said manager Ron Washington, who has a long relationship with Giambi going back to their days together with the Athletics. "Big-time hitter, always has been clutch. Always has been. That's why Cleveland got him, even though he's hitting 170-something. He's sitting there for a reason."
Washington didn't know Giambi was the hero of the Indians' victory until after the game, but he had a clear view of the scoreboard in left field and knew Cleveland would remain a game ahead of his ballclub entering Wednesday's games.
"It's fun, it's nerve-wracking, it's all of the above," Washington said. "No matter what, I'm proud of these guys for the way they have fought all year with all the adversity. They never complained. It's fun, it's nerve-wracking and your stomach gets in knots. But what doesn't get in knots is your focus. You have to do what you have to do. You've got to live with what's going on in front of us."
Washington, like some of the players, can't help but watch the scoreboard to see how the Rays and Indians are playing in what's shaping out to be an exciting conclusion to the regular season, but they don't want to be consumed with how other teams are playing this week.
"To be honest, it's kind of difficult not to look," Ian Kinsler said. "You want to know what's going on in other games, but you want to try and stay away from anything that's going to subtract from what you're doing here. As long as you can keep the focus on the task at hand, whether it's your at-bat or someone else's at-bat, whatever you can do defensively to take away from watching the scoreboard."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.