All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton might need lastly endeared himself to New York Yankees followers by having a signature postseason second.
Stanton lived as much as his former Nationwide League MVP pedigree on Monday, hitting the primary postseason grand slam of his profession within the Yankees’ 9-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Sport 1 of the American League Division Series.
“That was large, to return out how we did. It was enormous,” Stanton mentioned. “That was actually cool. I am unable to deny that. The spot I helped put the staff in, do not need to take your foot off the gasoline. Up by [two] in comparison with by six is a big distinction.”
There is no such thing as a doubt that the 27-time World Collection champions, the winningest franchise in baseball, are a membership constructed for the postseason. Donning pinstripes in October comes with monumental expectations.
Stanton’s ninth-inning dwelling run made him the primary Yankees designated hitter to smack a grand slam in a postseason recreation. Stanton is the third Yankee to homer within the membership‘s first three video games of a postseason, becoming a member of Aaron Judge in 2018 and Hank Bauer in 1958.
The Yankees grew to become the primary staff in AL historical past to hit grand slams in back-to-back postseason games. Third baseman Gio Urshela homered with the bases loaded in Sport 2 of the New York Yankees’ wild-card sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees have hit 11 dwelling runs of their first three playoff video games this postseason, a brand new main league file.
“They’ll hit. There is no such thing as a secret in that,” Rays supervisor Kevin Money mentioned of the Yankees. “That was nothing that was sudden with them. They acquired some guys again which are more healthy. There have been a handful of gamers who did not have constant reps in opposition to us or all through the 60-game season for harm causes. They regarded wholesome tonight.”
Stanton’s profession in pinstripes has been marred by accidents and frustration, which has made him persona non grata for Yankees followers since he was acquired from the Miami Marlins earlier than the 2018 season. He was restricted to 18 video games final season due to myriad accidents, and he performed in 23 of 60 video games on this yr‘s pandemic-shortened common season whereas battling leg accidents.
Nonetheless, Stanton appears to have regained his stroke this postseason, going 2-for-7 with two HRs within the wild-card spherical.
“He is struggled simply because he hasn’t been wholesome,” New York Yankees supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned. “I really feel nice for him. That is what I envisioned for him final yr. I felt he was in such a superb place [when he came off the IL at end of the season], and now he is carrying it into the postseason. He is such a harmful hitter in the course of the lineup. When he is controlling the strike zone, he is as lethal as anybody.”
Earlier than the beginning of the ALDS, Stanton talked about not solely displaying issues on paper, “however be on the market and do it.” And so he did, hitting his eighth profession grand slam and first since Sept. 20, 2018, in opposition to the Boston Red Sox.
“I grew up about an hour and a half, two hours away, so I normally have my household right here and mates, in order that‘s at all times a superb increase,” mentioned the Southern California native, the Yankees participant most conversant in Petco Park after his eight seasons within the NL. “And it is the primary recreation that my dad and mom have been capable of come to, in order that was enormous. My dad for positive does not miss greater than a month [of the season] at a time, not to mention … we’re in October now.”
In 19 profession video games at Petco Park, the place he gained the 2016 Residence Run Derby, Stanton has hit .323 with eight homers and a 1.190 OPS.
When requested about his success on the plate thus far this postseason, Stanton mentioned he does not imagine he has completed something but.
“That was big-time. That was undoubtedly actually wanted right now, however I am not likely taking a look at it that means,” Stanton mentioned. “I have not executed something. We have got extra to do tomorrow and the subsequent day, so I am having fun with this for somewhat bit. However on the identical time, we have work to do.”
“It is one recreation. We have got to win three,” the supervisor added. “We all know [the Rays are] a fantastic staff and a fantastic opponent. We all know we have now to play our greatest to beat them. We now have to win two extra, and that is going to be a problem.”