Heading into the fifth inning of Monday night’s game, the slugger was 0-for-9 with four strikeouts after two-plus games.
He’d been booed by the home crowd regularly ever since Saturday.
But with the bases loaded and the Yankees looking to expand upon their 2-0 lead, Stanton came through. He was served up a meatball and demolished it for a 471-foot grand slam.
Didn’t hear any boos after that! In fact, Yankee Stadium damn near erupted … then the fans went back to their usual ways and booed Aaron Judge when he later struck out with the bases loaded with New York up 7-0.
After the win, Stanton was asked about how he’s dealt with the boos after just a handful of at-bats.
Yankees star Giancarlo Stanton responds to the early boos.
He certainly sounded a bit troubled in his response, delayed with his final answer, as if the boos were bothering him. And we can’t blame him. The guy was just the unquestioned hero who nearly carried the Yankees to the ALCS last year and now he’s not being given a second to find his bearings and settle into the new year.
And when you really think about it, Stanton’s largely been very good throughout his Yankees career. In 202 games, he’s slashing .263/.351/.504 with 124 runs scored, 46 home runs and 128 RBI. He’s just mostly been injured and his strikeouts have looked ugly. But other than that, he’s been a productive player.
Fans hold him to a higher standard since he’s owed $218 million over the next seven years and some would have rather seen general manager Brian Cashman fortify the team’s pitching staff with an expensive ace rather than another slugging outfielder, but this is life now.
Stanton’s on this team for the better part of the next decade most likely, and if he can stay healthy alongside Judge, this will undoubtedly be a special year for the Bombers.
Fingers crossed, and perhaps fans need to lay off the former MVP for a little bit. Let him get on track and start raking, and then you’ll quickly forget about the off-balanced swings and untimely strikeouts.