NEW YORK -- In the biggest game of his career to date, Jason Giambi came through. Not many of his teammates did, though, so the reigning American League MVP's four-hit night went to waste.
|Giambi put the A's ahead in the first with an RBI single.
When Oakland suffered its third consecutive loss in the AL Division Series, dropping Game 5 to the Yankees 5-3, it signaled the end of Giambi's year. And because he's a free agent, it might have signaled the end of his tenure as the charismatic leader of the A's.
"I haven't even really thought about it, to be honest with you," Giambi said. "I just wanted to have a good game tonight. And even though I went 4-for-4, you can't call it a good game because we didn't win.
"Now we've got a long flight home, and I'm sure everything will start to be addressed soon enough."
What was addressed Monday night was Giambi's postseason mettle. He entered the game 2-for-13 in the series, and his countenance during batting practice was that of a man hell-bent on stomping on the germinating seeds of doubt.
"I just have a lot of pride," he said. "This is what it's all about. You try to have a big game in every city, but it's special to do it in New York because they really know their baseball."
Giambi's night included an RBI single in the first and another in the fifth. The first made it 1-0, the second cut New York's lead to 3-2.
"When you clutch up like G did today ..." third baseman Eric Chavez said with a sense of awe in his voice. "You can tell he's got nothing on his mind but winning."
"Jason seemed very focused today," said Oakland outfielder Johnny Damon. "He's a big-time player, and you expect him to come up big. He always has, and he did again tonight."
But as unfair as it sounds, it wasn't big enough. Giambi's error in the fourth inning helped the Yankees score an unearned run.
"Jason carries us so often," said Damon. "There's only so much one man can do."
Giambi seems to understand that, but it didn't ease the pain on Monday night. He smiled and was cordial and said all the right things, but tucked within his comments was a line that pretty much said it all.
"I'm not a glass half-empty kind of guy. I don't cry over spilled milk," he said. "But I felt like we were good enough to get to the World Series, and we just fell short. That's not a good feeling, 4-for-4 or 0-for-4."
Mychael Urban is the Site Reporter for OaklandAthletics.com and can be reached at email@example.com.