Giancarlo Stanton's Hard Work Begins to Pay Off With First Four-Hit Game Since '18

Max Goodman

NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton was the first Yankee on the field before first pitch on Thursday night, warming up with different stationary stretches and calisthenics by himself down the right-field line.

The slugger was set to appear in just his second game since spending over a month on the injured list with a Grade 1 strain in his left hamstring. 

Those pregame exercises were part of a "new warm-up" that the slugger had introduced in an effort to stay healthy and stay on the field. On Wednesday, the 30-year-old walked through his modified plan, an initiative that included a "new mid-game routine" as well.

It may be too early to tell if those adjustments made by Stanton and the training staff will keep the slugger from injuries in the future, but on Thursday he showcased why his presence in New York's starting lineup is so valuable.

Stanton went 4-for-5 in the Yankees' 10-7 victory over the Blue Jays, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. It was his first four-hit game since July 23, 2018.

"Definitely my balance and timing felt much better today than the first game I played," Stanton said. "Just gotta keep feeding off that, keep working off that and keep it rolling."

His massive night at the plate comes on the heels of an 0-for-4 return from the injured list on Tuesday night. Quelling any concerns that Stanton was returning with rust, he tallied two singles, a double and a booming home run to the opposite field. 

In the bottom of the first, Stanton ripped a 111.2 mph line drive to shallow right field for an RBI single to put the Bombers up 1-0. It was his first base hit since Aug. 8, the last time No. 27 appeared in a game before being placed on the IL.

His next time up, Stanton practically dented the left-center field wall with a double that landed just feet shy of a home run. 

Stanton wouldn't be held inside the ballpark for too much longer. 

The following inning, the former MVP absolutely demolished a 90.5 mph fastball from right-hander Chase Anderson, sending it 418 feet into the bleachers in right-center field. It was his fourth homer of the season.

Stanton wasn't the only Yankee to go deep in the fourth as the Bombers combined to crush five home runs in the inning. It was just the seventh time in MLB history a team had accomplished such a feat, marking a new franchise record for New York.

With Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres both back on the active roster as well, Stanton agreed that New York's lineup is about as "scary" as it gets.

"With all of us in there at once, it’s something special," Stanton said. "Something fun to be a part of and I’m looking forward to it. Coming together at the right time."

Yankees' manager Aaron Boone praised Stanton's work ethic, reiterating that the slugger has been doing everything in his power to get back onto the field as quick as possible while setting himself up to avoid injuries moving forward. 

That includes consistent reps off the high-velocity pitch machine, breaking-ball machine and of course, those aforementioned adjustments to his routine that are designed to keep him fresh physically.

"He’s been preparing, he’s been getting his mind ready for this and he’s focused," Boone said. "Obviously a lot of great at-bats for him tonight."

Coming off an injury-plagued campaign a year ago—in which Stanton played just 18 games—the slugger opened up about getting hurt again this season, saying "words can't describe the disappointment" back in mid-August. 

Stanton went on to miss 32 games before his reinstatement earlier this week.

To come back and have one of his best offensive performances in a Yankees uniform solidified in Stanton's mind that his hard work is in the process of paying off. 

Individual accolades aside, this slugger is focused on helping his team win. With eight victories in a row after Thursday's blowout, Stanton and the Bombers have their eyes set on home field advantage so they can host the opening round of the postseason at Yankee Stadium.

"We’re keeping the foot on the gas," Stanton said. "That’s the plan, that's the goal. We’re in a good spot for it, but we’ve got to keep working."

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