Even former World Series MVPs aren’t safe from Giancarlo Stanton’s bat.
Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants’ four-time All-Star, became the latest pitcher Stanton took deep as he extended his club-record streak of consecutive games with a home run to six in the third inning on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t enough, however, for the Marlins (57-61) as their four-game winning streak was snapped with a 9-4 loss to the Giants.
Bumgarner’s first matchup with Stanton ended with the latter roping a single to left field in the first inning.
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But in their second encounter, Stanton squared up on an 87.4 mph cutter from Bumgarner and sent it an estimated 432 feet (per Statcast) to left center field.
“I had a pretty good feeling that [Bumgarner] would come after [Stanton],” Mattingly said. “He's not a guy who really backs off of much. He's coming after everybody.”
The ball landed on the stairs behind the Marlins Park home run sculpture and Stanton had his 44th homer of the season.
“I have nothing but respect for [Bumgarner] and the way he goes about what he does,” said catcher A.J. Ellis, who started Tuesday’s game. “It’s a fun, fun day at the ballpark [when he pitches] because he’s going to give his absolute best. You gotta rise to that level to try to meet him. So for [Stanton] to put a swing like that on a pretty good backdoor cutter, it was a great mano a mano moment.”
Stanton’s streak of consecutive games with a home run is now the longest in the majors since Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado did it in September 2015.
“I’ve never even heard of anything like this before so to be able to see it is a great moment for all of us,” Ellis said. “Personally, it’s a great moment just to be a part of it and watch it. And delivering when the expectations are there speaks to how good he is and how dedicated he is to finding the right pitches.”
Stanton is two short of the major-league record shared by Dale Long (1956), current Marlins manager Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993).
“I'd like to see him beat it, really, because that means the first two games in New York he homers, and he homers [Wednesday],” Mattingly said. “We're trying to win games, and the last thing I'm going to do is root against him hitting homers. I'm all for it.”
Stanton hit his 11th home run in his past 12 games. and 23rd over his past 35. According to Elias, only Sammy Sosa (1998) and Barry Bonds (2001) hit more home runs over such a stretch.
Also according to Elias, Stanton became the fourth player with 11 home runs through the first 15 days of a calendar month joining Sosa (June 1998), Ralph Kiner (September 1949) and Troy Tulowitzki (September 2010).
Stanton’s homer was his 18th of the second half, which leads the majors and matches his own club record from 2012.
Stanton broke his own record for homers in August with 11 a day after becoming the first Marlin to record back-to-back months with 10 or more.
Stanton is on pace to hit 60.4 homers. Only five players have hit 60 or more in a season — Bonds, Sosa, Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mark McGwire — and it’s been done eight times.
▪ Stanton’s homer helped the Marlins retake the lead and they would extend it to 4-2 with a single by Marcell Ozuna. But the Giants (48-73) rallied with a run in the fifth and three more off reliever Junichi Tazawa in the seventh. Tazawa failed to record an out and gave up hits to all four batters he faced. It was his worst outing of the season. The bullpen allowed six runs overall.
▪ Ellis hit his third homer of the season in the fourth inning off Bumgarner. It was Ellis’ second homer this year against the Giants, his former division rivals.