Bobby Meacham had both palms firmly jutting toward the left-field wall, doing everything he physically could to stop Jason Giambi, short of actually interfering with the play and tackling the chugging Yankees' first baseman.
"I put my head down to see the bag, and the Big G can't slow down," Giambi said. "Once the train gets going, there's no brakes. I need to pull the rip cord or there's no chance."
The play occurred with two outs in the fifth inning, as the Yankees chased Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman in favor of reliever Bobby Seay. Robinson Cano stroked a single through the hole, and Giambi took off from second base, stomping around the third-base bag and running clear through a stop sign.
The throw came home from Detroit right fielder Magglio Ordonez, and catcher Ivan Rodriguez threw to Carlos Guillen at third base to retire a scrambling Giambi, who later laughed that his chances would have been better if he'd just tried to motor through the plate.
"I should have just kept going," Giambi said. "The Big G is coming."
All joking aside, the Yankees have been mildly encouraged by signs that, well, the Big G may actually be coming -- around, that is. Giambi's batting average still sits at an unsightly .183, but he pounded an RBI double in Saturday's game and he has five hits in his last 13 at-bats (.384), including two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored.
"That's the kind of guy he is," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Jason, in his career, has carried lineups. He's a big hitter for us."
Giambi said that he has been hitting the ball hard for most of the year, so it is finally nice to be getting some results for it -- and particularly putting the ball in play so often, as the slugger has not struck out twice in a game since April 20."If i just keep hitting the ball hard and the results are going to come," Giambi said. "I know it's kind of a tough thing, because the game is so results-oriented to not think about it, but at the same time, I knew I was doing the right ingredients -- getting a good pitch to hit, hitting it hard and eventually they were going to start to fall."