With his first-inning knock in last night’s 8-3 Marlins win over the Giants, Giancarlo Stanton’s numbers are downright incredible. He’s homered in five straight games. He has more home runs in August than the Pirates, and as many as the Rays. He has 10 homers in his last 11. And 22 in his last 34.
Here’s number 43, which according to Statcast was his softest-hit home run of the year, though it looked plenty good from here:
Stanton now owns Marlins franchise record for home runs in a season, previously held by Gary Sheffield. And if not for Sheffield, the top of that leaderboard would feel a little repetitive:
He’s only 27 years old, but there are still so many what-ifs. A series of injuries has kept Stanton from playing a full season since 2011, and we’re now seeing exactly what he’s capable of.
“He’s that good,” second baseman Dee Gordon said. “He’s one of the best players in the game. And he’s healthy. He’s killing people. He was averaging like 35 homers and he didn’t even play 150 games those years.”
Stanton is on pace for 60 home runs, something only five players have done in the history of baseball and that no one’s reached since Bonds and Sosa did it in 2001.
Stanton’s teammates threw him a traditional celebration in the locker room after the game: The laundry cart beer gauntlet. (“I did fit in the basket,” Stanton said. “I was surprised.”)
Stanton’s next few years are going to be interesting. This is his prime, and if he maintains anything close to this for the next few years, he may choose to opt out of his contract and hit free agency in 2020. (If he doesn’t, he’s still owed $295 million over the next 10 years.) But will he be a Marlin even that long? With new ownership coming in, Stanton and his massive contract could be traded to make room for a full rebuild; he’s also young enough that if new ownership is willing to spend, he’s the type of player they could build around.
But for now? This is fun.
“Finally,” Gordon said. “I’ve been with him three years and he’s been pissed off. For him to finally have a smile on his face, have a little charisma about himself and stop being so monotone all the time, it’s pretty cool.”