Big League Stew

Standing tall: Giambi tweaks stance, hits three bombs in Philly

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Giambi

Hitless since April 10, many — myself included — were questioning Jason Giambi's future in a Colorado Rockies uniform. How could they justify carrying an aging veteran that isn't hitting a lick, is limited to one defensive position, and is a liability at that one position?

It was a valid question going into Thursday night. It will still be a valid question in the long run. But it's more difficult to ask out loud after Giambi stepped in for an ailing Todd Helton, and stepped up in the biggest way imaginable in Colorado's 7-1 victory over Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Giambino homered in each of his first three at-bats, and tied a career high with seven RBI as the Rockies snapped their seven-game losing streak at Citizens Bank Park.

Watch Giambi's three home runs

It was the first three-homer game in Giambi's career. And at 40 years and 131 days old, he's the second-oldest player to accomplish the feat. Stan Musial was 41 when he hit three on July 8, 1962. Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth are the only other two in the 40 years or older three home run club.

From The Denver Post: {YSP:MORE}

"Anytime you can put yourself in a category with those kinds of names, it's pretty special," Giambi said. "It's exciting, something you dream about. It's one of those times when you thank the Big Guy Upstairs for tonight's game."

Of course the big question afterwards concerned the whereabouts of Giambi's golden thong. We cannot confirm or deny if it was present or in any way involved. But even if it was, I think Giambi really owes this busted slump to the golden eye of Rockies skipper Jim Tracy, who hinted at a Giambi breakout in his pregame chat with the media.

"The swing he's looking for, it will show up, believe me," said Tracy. "He's one good swing away from saying to himself, "There it is.' That's how a good a hitter he's been over the years. That's how much he understands himself and his swing."

We later learned it was Tracy who spotted a flaw in Giambi's batting stance while watching video Thursday afternoon. He felt the slugger was bending his front knee too much, which was preventing Giambi from exploding on pitches on the inner half.

After a pregame discussion, Giambi heeded his manager's advice by adjusting to a more upright stance during batting practice. He was then inserted into Colorado's lineup when it was determined first baseman Todd Helton's sore back would not allow him to play.

The rest, as they say, was history.

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