In last night's 4-3 loss to the New York Mets, Giancarlo Stanton delivered yet another #MONSTERDONG home run, as he ripped an eighth inning curveball and fired a laser that entered the left field stands in a hurry. That was Stanton's 36th home run of the season and his third in three games, and that leaves him in rarefied air in Marlins history. The 36 home runs is the third-most in a single Marlins season, behind only Stanton's own 37-homer campaign in 2012 and Gary Sheffield's 42 home runs in 1996. Furthermore, Stanton's homer was his 153rd as a Marlin, which leaves him just one home run shy of the overall Marlins record for career dingers, behind just Dan Uggla.
Of course, you probably will not hear Stanton gossiping about how close he is to Marlins history. Despite the fact that he is chasing those Marlins records, he does not dwell much on the numbers during the season.
"I'm not worried about that," Stanton said. "Personal stuff, you worry about Oct. 1. It's a great group of numbers there. We have a month left. No stopping."
That is the sort of line you expect to hear from a guy who is trying to be a leader of a team, I presume. It might be a convenient thing to say, or it might be exactly how he feels. Either way, Stanton's assault on the team's record books is undeniably happening.
What are Stanton's chances at the records? At this point, it is essentially a guarantee that he will finish the year as the Marlins' career leader in home runs. Dan Uggla compiled an impressive five-year stretch of home run power from 2006 to 2010, as he never hit fewer than 27 homers with the Fish and had four seasons of over 30 homers with Miami. Stanton would have accomplished that feat had he not struggled in 2013, and there is little doubt that Stanton has more prodigious power than even the mighty-swinging Uggla. Stanton will have earned his rightful place atop the leaderboard.
As for the Sheffield single-season record, we already addressed the race to 42 home runs earlier this season. At this point, with Stanton at 36 homers already, his odds of reaching at least 40 home runs is at a cool 79.2 percent. That is up dramatically from his 63 percent chance last time we checked. We can feel pretty safe about the chances of him getting there, as it will happen nearly four out of every five times.
How about Sheffield's 42 homers? Those odds are a little trickier. If we expect Stanton to continue homering at his rate of nearly six percent of his plate appearances, we might expect him to reach 42 homers or better 45 percent of the time. That is still well above the expectations from less than a month ago, which had Stanton tying the record at 39 percent.
Still, you are looking at nearly a coin flip's chance of Stanton breaking a longstanding Marlins record in a year in which he has a chance at the National League MVP. Those factors all combine to make for one of the best Marlins seasons on record for Stanton in 2014, and it is not done yet. Here's hoping we see a couple of brand new records by season's end.