Home News Giancarlo Stanton homers twice in Yankees’ win over Cubs

Giancarlo Stanton homers twice in Yankees’ win over Cubs

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NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton knew it was gone, and so did everyone else. The only question was where it might land.

Stanton hit one of the most impressive home runs of his Yankees career in the first inning on Saturday, a 447-foot blast that struck the facing of a restaurant overlooking left field, then added a second shot in leading the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs at Yankee Stadium.

“Over the years, I’ve gotten some pretty good ones, but that was nice,” Stanton said.

Stanton’s jaw-dropping drive off Chicago starter Drew Smyly rocketed off the bat at 118.1 mph, per Statcast, marking Stanton’s hardest hit of the season and the 10th-hardest-hit homer of his career.

Though Stanton initially downplayed the homer, saying it was only “worth one run,” he acknowledged that he couldn’t recall ever hitting a ball to the area below the stadium’s Audi Club — even in batting practice.

“I’ve never seen a ball go up there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “To hit it 118, that high, to the direct pull side — you can’t make that up. That’s as weird as it gets.”

According to Statcast, Stanton has pulled three other homers 447 feet or greater at Yankee Stadium: April 4, 2018, vs. Tampa Bay (458 feet), Aug. 9, 2018, vs. Texas (449 feet) and Oct. 1, 2022, vs. Baltimore (447 feet). But none of those reached the facing of the club level.

“I think a home run like that should count for two,” said Josh Donaldson, who also slugged his 10th homer, helping the Yanks snap a three-game skid.

The offensive output supported All-Star Gerrit Cole, who ended the first half with a 9-2 record, a 2.85 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 19 starts and has voiced a desire to start the Midsummer Classic for the American League.

Stanton’s homer gave Cole a quick lead to protect, and the right-hander said that the Bombers collectively “love seeing [Stanton] have success, because he works so hard.”

“The thing that makes G great is, he never gives away an at-bat,” Cole said. “He never really gives away a pitch. When you have that type of talent, and that’s how tough you are in the box, you’re always giving yourself a chance to have success. 

“That’s what it’s about when things are not going great, and that’s what it’s about when things are going well. It’s about trying to win every single pitch.”

After being blanked in the series opener, the Yanks improved to 16-5 all-time vs. the Cubs as Smyly was knocked for four runs in four innings, including Harrison Bader’s two-run double in the third.

Smyly said that the Cubs’ scouting report suggested pitching Stanton up and in. He’d tried, but clearly hadn’t targeted the right spot.

“Stanton is a massive human being,” Smyly said. “You feel like if you throw it in the strike zone, you are putting it on a tee. The home run he hit was up and in, but it feels like it’s just middle-middle because he is so big. If you throw it above that, he did a good job of taking it and not swinging at it.”

Facing Michael Rucker in the fifth, Stanton dinged a shot off the right-field foul pole for his ninth homer of the year — that one representing his softest homer ever, with an exit velocity of just 91.3 mph, per Statcast. The ball was initially judged to be in play, then confirmed as a homer by replay.

“I saw it hit off the pole, but … just keep running until they tag you out,” said Stanton, whose last multihomer game came on May 12, 2022, against the White Sox.

The performance may provide some optimism for Stanton, who said that he stumbled upon a timing mechanism that felt right during Friday’s loss, then carried it over into Saturday’s contest. Since returning from the injured list on June 2, Stanton is batting .174/.269/.370 (16-for-92) with three doubles, five homers and 12 RBIs.

“I have a job to do, period,” Stanton said. “It’s never a lack of effort, a lack of work. I’ve got to put it together at 7 o’clock and 1 o’clock.”

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