NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees breaks his bat as he grounds out during the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on September 15, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Giancarlo Stanton looked locked in during the New York Yankees’ 10-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

Josh Benjamin

For someone who missed over a month with a strained hamstring, Giancarlo Stanton has not lost a step.

The strong New York Yankees slugger returned from the injured list on Tuesday and went 0 for 4 with a walk despite some good swings. The oft-injured former MVP was in form, but just a non-factor in the Yankees’ 20-6 massacre of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Stanton didn’t play Wednesday so as to keep his legs fresh. As that old ditty goes, what a difference a day makes! Stanton returned as the DH on Thursday and had a game for the ages. He was 4 for 5 with two RBI, including a long home run into the right field bleachers in the Yankees’ 10-7 victory.

Giancarlo Stanton was one of five the Yankees hit in the fourth inning alone, tying an MLB record. All in all, New York scored seven runs in the inning and featured back-to-back-to-back homers by Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, and Luke Voit. Gleyber Torres also homered in the inning.

But the story of the game was none other than Stanton, whose home run traveled an estimated 428 feet. He is now batting .320 on the year with four home runs and nine RBI.

JB’s Take

This is the Giancarlo Stanton the Yankees thought they were getting in December 2017. You remember. The phenomenal power hitter who slugged 59 home runs en route to an MVP trophy with the Miami Marlins in 2017.

Though Stanton had 38 home runs and 100 RBI in his first year in the Bronx, he has not played as advertised. A plethora of injuries limited him to just 18 games last season, and Stanton got hurt in the playoffs too. He started off strong in the abbreviated 2020 season, but strained his hamstring running the bases on Tropicana Field’s astroturf last month.

As former Yankee great Yogi Berra liked to say, it was déjà vu all over again.

But the Yankees have a routine for Giancarlo Stanton this time. No back to back games early on, and he’ll almost certainly operate solely as the designated hitter. It also helps that Stanton’s brother in mashing home runs, Aaron Judge, returned from the injured list Wednesday.

The Yankees are simply a better team with these two in the lineup, Stanton especially. Judge’s power is fine and dandy, but Stanton hitting the ball north of 100 mph is almost automatic. We know this about him, as FanGraphs lists his career average exit velocity at 93.4 mph.

The New York Yankees are heating up at the right time. Just over a week of the regular season remains as the race to the playoffs continued.

With a healthy Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are that much better.

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