Loud, intense boos rained down on the Houston Astros Tuesday as 10,850 emotional fans brought the feel of a sold out postseason game to Yankee Stadium. Among the storm of taunts and jeers came thunderous cracks off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton as the Yankees’ offense erupted for seven runs.
The Astros and New York Yankees met for the first time since the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal was uncovered. The Yankees walked away with the victory thanks to four hits – three of which registered exit velocities over 100 mph – and three RBI off the bat of Stanton. Tuesday was a continuation of one of the best offensive stretches of Stanton’s career. He now has a 10-game hitting streak, and he has at least three hits in four of his last five games, slashing .609/.609/.826 in those five games.
“I like where I’m at,” Stanton said via Zoom after the game. “I’m squaring up what I need to square up, and I just got to keep it going.”
Stanton has seen great success since manager Aaron Boone started batting him second. As Stanton continues to hit the ball hard behind DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees’ offense has benefitted from his improved production.
Giancarlo Stanton had appeared in 24 games entering play Tuesday. He went hitless in one game batting third. Additionally, he slashed .171/.277/.415 with 17 total bases in 11 games while batting fourth. However, his slash line is .373/.385/.588 with 30 total bases in 12 games while batting second.
Stanton has seen success hitting in different spots of the lineup before, but 2017, the best year of his career, saw him hit second in 110 games. 47 of the 59 home runs he hit that year came in those games, and he hit .289/.391/.675 with 283 total bases.
Even while battling injuries in 2019, Stanton flashed this potential in these scenarios. He slugged 1.000 while recording nine of just 72 plate appearances that year in that spot in the lineup.
“You know what he’s capable of,” Boone said. “This is what we’ve seen brewing from him going back the last couple years. He just obviously hasn’t been able to be out there enough.”
During Stanton’s time hitting second, the Yankees offense has started to turn things around from their early season struggles.
“We weren’t going to play like the beginning of the season forever,” Stanton said.
The team averaged 3.6 runs per game, going 7-11, in their first 18 games. Since Stanton started his current hitting streak on April 23rd, they are averaging 4.6 runs per game and are 7-3 when he plays.
Even better, during his stretch of three or more hits in four of his last five games, the team is scoring 5.8 runs per game and has gone 4-1 in those games.
For Stanton, power has never been an issue. He hits the ball hard, and his 17 hits over 115 mph this year are three times more than the next closest team. The ball will travel far if he squares it up. That is something Stanton has done frequently in his time batting second in 2021, and it has ignited a Yankees’ offense that is starting to put a slow start behind them.
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