There are few events in the MLB currently more enjoyable than Giancarlo Stanton hitting a home run. (No disrespect to Jose Abreu.) "Crushed" is an understatement when describing the balls Stanton hits.
The Marlins have a pitching gem in Jose Fernandez—who pitched seven innings of two-run ball with 10 strikeouts against the Dodgers today—but if you prefer hitting, Stanton is Miami's treasure to watch. The outfielder's been in the majors since 2010, but the power continues to impress. He hit two homers today, and while none of them were as towering as some of his earlier shots this season, they were still awesome.
First, there was a two-run opposite-field homer that sounded so satisfying as Stanton made contact.
In the bottom of the sixth, Stanton hit another, a solo laser to left field, right at the crowd in the Clevelander.
The Dodgers tied it at four in the top of the ninth, and Jeff Baker turned into the Marlins' pinch-hitting walkoff hero, receiving a sloppy Gatorade postgame bath, but Stanton's dingers played a key role. He's been consistent in his power this season with a .602 slugging percentage, good for sixth-best in the MLB, and a top-10 .964 OPS. (Sure, small sample sizes, but that's an excellent start.)
Pre-Fernandez, Stanton was the bright spot on a dismal, inept Marlins roster. Trade rumors frequently surrounded him—and still do—in an attempt to free him from the sad baseball prison that was Miami. Again, it's early, but the Marlins are above .500, and with Stanton and Fernandez, the team looks to have a stellar core to build around for the future.