The Yankees acquired power hitter Giancarlo Stanton in December of 2017. The Miami Marlins, the team that drafted him in 2007, made Stanton available for a trade after their new owners, led by Yankees’ Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, dumped salaries to cut their payroll. The Yankees gave up little in value to obtain Stanton, sending Starlin Castro and minor league prospects Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman.
Stanton was coming off of being voted the National League MVP after hitting 59 homers and plating 132 RBIs. He was at the early stages of a $325 million contract signed with the Marlins in 2014. Opinions about the trade were mixed. Views on Stanton’s time as a New York Yankee have also been split. But there’s been more than overwhelming approval of Stanton’s tremendous performance against the Boston Red Sox last weekend.
The 33-year-old Los Angeles native hit three key home runs in the three-game series, one in each game, driving in 10 runs. With the Yankees down 2-1, Stanton’s grand slam in the eighth inning on Saturday afternoon gave them a critical 5-3 win.
“We’re in a better situation than we were yesterday, and the day before,” explained Stanton regarding the Yankees’ tight race for a wildcard spot. “Now it’s our job to get out of here in an even better situation.”
Stanton’s two-run homer in the eighth inning on Sunday, his 34th of the season, a massive blast over the Green Monster at Fenway Park, gave the Yankees a 6-3 lead after Aaron Judge double scored DJ LeMahieu putting the Yankees up 4-3. It was drops of catchable balls by third baseman LeMahieu and left fielder Joey Gallo that allowed the Red Sox to take a 3-2 advantage in the seventh.
“It’s not something you’re going to see very often, two pop-ups get dropped by really good defenders,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “It’s part of the ride right now.”
Stanton”s two-run blast gave the Yankees the security runs that they needed after Judge’s homer put them in the lead, 4-3.
The Yankees taking three from the Red Sox was their second consecutive series sweep after blanking the Texas Rangers, and left them with just two series remaining to end the regular season as the battle for the playoffs. They opened a three-game series on Tuesday on the road versus the Toronto Blue Jays 89-67, one game ahead of the Red Sox for the top wildcard position. The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL East title last Saturday.
The Blue Jays were just two games behind the Yankees as of Tuesday and the Seattle Mariners 2.5. The Yankees end the regular season hosting the Rays in the Bronx for three games tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.