The New York Yankees struggling to keep pace with those BoSox are in desperate need of a Giancarlo Stanton rampage.
The hour seems dark—darkest as it’s been for the New York Yankees this season.
After a 15-7 beatdown and two consecutive 4-1 disappointments at the hands of the unconsciously-hot Boston Red Sox at Fenway, the Yankees are a season-high 8.5 games back. If one is to believe the Big Apple tabloids and much of the internet, the Yanks should just raise the white flag now and concede the A.L. East.
What this team needs now is a hero. Someone to get red hot and relieve the pressure. Someone to put the team on his back.
What they need is Giancarlo Stanton to go on a rampage.
While Boston has been just about unbeatable since July 1, New York has hit some bumps in the road. The biggest representing the recent wrist injury to Aaron Judge, which will keep him sidelined through much, if not all, of August.
Along with catcher Gary Sanchez being out with a re-injured groin for the next month, the Yanks need some serious slack to be picked up. Sure, a hot Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius or whomever down the stretch would be great for the Yanks, but now would be a great time for the big guy to go off on a homer binge.
Stanton has been somewhat hot of late hitting .307 with 14 HR since June 1. He’s also shown that like Aaron Judge, he’s an excellent athlete for a “big man” and a solid teammate. But last August during his MVP season in Miami, Giancarlo hit .349 with 18 HR, 37 RBI while putting forth a mind-blowing 1.337 OPS (on-base + slugging) in 109 at bats.
Well, it’s August and should Stanton again go nuclear it would likely have a profound impact on the pennant race.
Of course, Yankee pitching needs to improve upon its horrific 5.42 ERA since the MLB All-Star break. And the fundamental and mental mistakes need to be minimized—holding runners on, communication in the infield. But it really should not be all that surprising that the youngest team in the AL would make mental errors and play tight under the huge NY spotlight.
This is certainly the roughest stretch thus far in Aaron Boone’s tenure and the buttons he pushes or tables he flips over will resonate, good or bad.
But over the course of a long season, there are often galvanizing moments—performances or even off the field incidents that can alter a team’s psyche and chemistry. Right now, the best hope for the Yankees to right their ship may be for Giancarlo, the reigning NL MVP, to put on an awesome power display. Multi-tape measure HR games have a way of impacting an entire lineup, allowing others to relax and not try and do too much at the plate.
Maybe Boston, a team on pace for the best season in its 117-year history, is just having one of those magical seasons—think the 1984 Tigers, 2001 Mariners or, of course, 1998 Yankees—and nothing will deny them the AL or even a championship. But a Yankee team this talented should never just roll over and be satisfied with a Wild Card finish.
The New York Yankee still have 54 games left on the 2018 slate. Boston has 51. There’s still lots of baseball to be played and the big slugger with the name Giancarlo Stanton may have much to say about it.
Sure, asking a player to don a red cape or turn into a real-life Roy Hobbs is a tall order. But except for the injured Aaron Judge, if anyone on this Yankee team can, it’s Giancarlo Stanton.