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Reed using walk-off homer as learning experience

Reed using walk-off homer as learning experience

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CLEVELAND -- When Jason Giambi connected on Addison Reed's poorly located slider for Tuesday night's thrilling walk-off winner, the White Sox closer had one thought cross his mind.

"Hopefully a bird is flying by and it hits the bird and stays in the park," said a smiling Reed before Wednesday's game. "Once it goes in the air and you know it's gone, there's pretty much nothing you can do except for walk off the field and just come in here.

"I mean, there's no need to stay out there and do anything. Just come in here and just kind of learn from your mistake. Make it work better for next time."

Reed has thrown 70 1/3 innings this season over 67 games and will be available for the remaining five games, including Wednesday's road finale. He stresses the point of feeling fine on the mound, simply pointing to the right pitch in the wrong spot to Giambi.

In fact, the learning experience for the second-year closer with 39 saves was that he didn't really need to throw a strike to the powerful Giambi with Michael Brantley on second and first base open. Reed felt his arm drop on the pitch, saw it floating up there and hoped maybe Giambi would pull it foul.

"He doesn't miss mistakes," Reed said.

By the time Reed faced the media after the game and left the clubhouse, he was focused on Wednesday's game. He also takes a pragmatic and highly optimistic view in regard to Giambi's connection.

"I'd rather it happen now than in Game 7 of the World Series. Things could be a lot worse," Reed said. "It obviously [stunk], but like I said, it's good to learn from, and I rather it happen in this situation than in a game that we need a win or a playoff game or something like that."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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