The ball that Giancarlo Stanton clubbed for his 150th home run bounced off a couple of boulders beyond the left-field wall at Angel Stadium in Monday’s 7-1 Marlins victory.
Discussing the milestone blow afterward, Stanton pointed to the ball, which had been retrieved and placed in his locker, and declared with a smile: “It’s a warrior.”
Stanton became the 10th-youngest player ever to reach 150 home runs, joining the likes of Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews and Johnny Bench.
At the specific age of 24 years and 290 days, Stanton is one of only three active players to hit his 150th at such an early age. The other two: Albert Pujols (24 years and 212 days) and Alex Rodriguez (24 years and 255 days).
When going by number of games played, Stanton became the 12th-fastest player to reach 150. Stanton’s milestone shot came in his 619th game.
“He killed that ball,” winning pitcher Jarred Cosart said of Stanton’s blast. “If that’s not the MVP, I don’t know what is. Hopefully, he gets a chance to play in the playoffs and let the whole world see what he can do.”
Morris, who was seen leaving the team’s clubhouse in street clothes on Tuesday as the Marlins were beginning to take batting practice, informed club officials that he was experiencing discomfort in his hip.
“We’re going to get it checked out, so I don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” said Michael Hill, the Marlins president of baseball operations. “But, at the moment, I don’t think it’s anything major.”
Morris, who last pitched on Saturday, has arguably been the Marlins’ top reliever since being acquired from the Pirates in June. In 35 appearances for the Marlins, Morris is 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA. He has allowed only two earned runs in 37 2/3 innings.
‘ON A MISSION’
Cosart was outstanding in Monday’s win over the Angels, a team that had defeated him twice previously this season when the pitcher was still with the Astros.
The right-hander, who was making his fourth start for the Marlins since being acquired from Houston, took a shutout into the eighth before he ran out of gas and gave up a run.
“The first couple of innings, you could just see it in his face,” manager Mike Redmond said. “It was impressive, fun to watch. You could just tell he was on a mission.”
Cosart has gone 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA for the Marlins.
RELIEF FOR JOHNSON
In the starting lineup for only the second time since June 29, Reed Johnson took advantage of the rare opportunity Monday with a pair of singles that came as a relief to the slumping reserve.
Johnson, who had been used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter the past two months, had only two hits in his previous 37 at-bats before Monday. Redmond used him as the Marlins’ designated hitter and batted him ninth.
“Being the ninth hitter, to be able to turn it over to [ Christian] Yelich and [ Jeff] Baker and obviously Stanton, to be able to hit with runners on is huge,” Johnson said. “The No. 9 hole in the American League, it’s a big deal if that guy gets on.”
The veteran outfielder admitted to being frustrated over his recent slump.
“When you’re doing what I do, not only a pinch-hitter, you’re not facing the middle-of-the-road guys, you’re facing back-end bullpen guys — eighth and ninth inning,” Johnson said of his late-inning pinch-hitting role. “It messes with your confidence a little bit because the results [aren’t there].”Derek Dietrich
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