New Yankees superstar breaks silence amid historically bad start
Things looked so promising for New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton when he blasted a home run in his very first at-bat in pinstripes.
He went on to hit two dingers in his debut game, leading the Bronx Bombers to a 6-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on March 29.
Yankee fans were downright giddy, and understandably so. Stanton was coming off an MVP season with the Miami Marlins, and assuming he stayed healthy, fans had no reason not to think that in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, he might even eclipse his 2017 numbers.
But things have not gone so well since then for the high-priced slugger, who the Yankees obtained in a blockbuster trade with the Marlins in December.
Last week, in the Yankees’ home opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, Stanton went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts — the rare platinum sombrero.
Giancarlo Stanton upgrades to the Platinum Sombrero. He is being booed at Yankee Stadium.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 3, 2018
If striking out five times in one game was not enough, he did it again Sunday afternoon in an 8-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. After he went down on strikes for the fifth time in the bottom of the 12th — this time to end the game — the boos rained down on him.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is the first time in the live-ball era that a player has gone hitless with five strikeouts twice in the same season. Further, Stanton is just the third player in the past century to strike out five times more than once in a season.
Through 10 games, Stanton has a league-leading 20 strikeouts.
On those rare occasions when he’s actually hit the ball, he has three home runs — though just one of them came after Opening Day — and he’s hitting a paltry .167.
Giancarlo Stanton picked up another platinum sombrero in ending a gruesome loss for the Bronx Bombers. He is now on pace for 48 home runs and 320 strikeouts.
— Ari Shapiro (@ari_shapiro) April 8, 2018
This is a far cry from 2017, when Stanton blasted a league-leading 59 homers and drove in 132 runs.
So what’s going on to cause this historically slow start?
“Just got to look at it as a bad week,” Stanton said after Sunday’s 0-for-7 performance against the Orioles.
“The season’s much longer than a week,” he said. “A couple of good games, and I could turn it around and help us win.”
“Just got to do more homework. A lot of these guys, it’s the first time seeing them,” Stanton added, referring to the fact that he played in the National League last season. “You just got to battle. If you don’t feel right, just find a way to battle and try to put the ball in play, which hasn’t worked out. But we’ll be all right.”
As for the boos, Stanton was not surprised. “They’re not going to cheer for that,” Stanton said of Yankee fans. “So what do you expect?”
His teammate, fellow slugger Aaron Judge, is not worried.
“We’re going to look back on this in August and laugh about it,” Judge said. “It’s just all about us and making adjustments like I know he will. He’s done it his whole career. Stanton’s a great hitter.”
It would be a shock if Stanton didn’t turn things around, because he can’t possibly keep up this historically bad pace.
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