Giancarlo Stanton had a great game on Tuesday, and the Marlins got a great result. The star right fielder spearheaded an eleven-hit attack which was more than enough to finally earn a win over the Atlanta Braves, with a final score of 8-2. In five plate appearances, Stanton had three hits, four RBIs, two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base.
Stanton had been notably quiet with his bat before Tuesday night. The $325 million man had only three RBIs through the first seven games of the season, a fact that was concerning Marlins supporters. However, it wasn't just Stanton that was slumping. The entire offense had been somewhat dreadful at times, particularly with runners on base. The Marlins still had these issues on Tuesday, as they went 4-13 with RISP and left nine runners on base. On the bright side, the Marlins were able to capitalize on enough scoring opportunities to win.
By no means was this a perfect game at the plate for Miami, but it was the start of a possible turning point. Only one of Giancarlo Stanton's hits was hit well, the others (one was a dribbler against the shift and the other skipped under the glove of third baseman Chris Johnson for a double) took lucky bounces, but sometimes that is what a player needs to turn his fortunes around. Stanton reached base in every at bat and, most importantly, did not strike out after already recording eight whiffs on the season.
Stanton was signed to that lucrative extension to be the star of this team and lead by example. After a fairly strong spring, he stumbled out of the gates. His numbers during the first homestand weren't pretty, but he has been playing better since the Marlins arrived in Atlanta. This is due to a change in approach at the plate. Stanton has worked on slowing his motion down and not lifting his front foot too early. This has given him more time to see pitches, resulting in the two walks on Tuesday.
Giancarlo Stanton gaining his confidence and hitting his stride is only a good thing for the Fish. Miami's star player will likely have to be at his best all season long in order for the team to make the playoffs. Stanton is a possible 40/20 threat and is therefore invaluable to the club. Once he is playing at an MVP-level again, the rest of the Marlins' roster will feed off of his energy and succeed too, not to mention the pressure will be lifted from the entire team once they start playing better baseball.
Everyone is still waiting for Stanton to hit his first home run after his facial injuries last season. Apparently, this will prove that there are no lingering effects, even though he batted without his face mask in his last plate appearance last night. The home run will come, and with the way Stanton has been hitting in the last two games, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bet on it coming in the next few days. Watch out bleachers, Stanton is back.