Giancarlo Stanton made his highly anticipated New York Yankees 2018 MLB Season debut against the Toronto Blue Jays and did it in a big way.
“Good times will be magnified, and so will the bad,” Stanton recently stated. “The fans expect a lot, be prepared. I expect a lot, too, so we’re in the same boat.”
Stanton knew that a lot was expected of him on Opening Day, and he did not disappoint in front of a sellout crowd in Toronto. Stanton launched a bomb to right field in his first career Yankee at-bat off of starter J.A. Happ and hit his second home run of the night on an absolute tank to center field off of Blue Jays’ reliever Tyler Clippard in the top of the ninth inning.
The reigning 2017 National League Most Valuable Player Award recipient managed to stay healthy in 2017 and put up Babe Ruth-like numbers. In 159 games, Stanton compiled an MLB leading 132 RBI with a .631 Slugging Percentage and 59 home runs. Stanton also led the NL in OPS after putting up a 1.032 mark.
Giancarlo Stanton’s first home run had an exit velocity of 117.3 MPH, making it the hardest-hit opposite-field homer in Statcast history. Stanton’s blast was also the fastest home run ever tracked at Rogers Centre. The next three, interestingly, on the ballpark’s list are all by New York Yankees with Aaron Judge coming in second (113.6 mph), Gary Sanchez third (113.2 mph) and Aaron Judge again in the number 4 spot (113.1 mph).
“It’s knowing what we can do, knowing what the expectations are and knowing how good we are,” Stanton said prior to the opener. “Us together is much stronger than being an individual. It’s not looking ahead, already looking to [think], ‘The season is starting but we’re making the playoffs.’
“You’ve got to put the work in every day to get there. Obviously, that’s the goal, but we’ve still got to put it out there every night first.”
After the two Opening Day home runs, Stanton has hit 5 home runs in his last 4 games at Rogers Centre.
All in all, Stanton had quite the outing on Opening Day, finishing with 3 hits, 3 runs, 4 RBI, and 3 home runs. Not a bad first game as a New York Yankee! Stanton is likely to continue to hit home runs at an insane pace, and now that he will be playing a majority of his games in one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in baseball, pitchers beware.