No one need remind Giancarlo Stanton about his recent slump. The Marlins’ slugger knows all about it.
Stanton came into Monday’s game against visiting Tampa Bay mired in a 5-for-52 stretch with 28 strikeouts during that span. Stanton flew out to center in his first at-bat Monday.
“I have to keep working at it,’’ Stanton said before batting practice at Marlins Park. “This is not the ideal situation, the place I want to be. As long as you don’t fold up, curl up into a ball, you’ll be all right. I have to keep moving, progress. Don’t worry about the [numbers], worry about the work you’re doing and the process of that.’’
In Sunday’s 8-2 loss to the Nationals, Stanton singled in the fifth inning to give him five hits in 50 at-bats and break a 19 at-bat hitless streak.
Going 5 for 50 isn’t even close to being the worst stretch in Marlins history as he once went 4 for 50 in 2010.
Stanton broke out of that slump in a big way. On Sept. 6, 2010, Stanton went 3 for 5 in Philadelphia with a home run and three RBI. That game started off an eight-game hitting streak as Stanton went 13 for 33 during that run, with five homers and eight RBI.
Manager Don Mattingly said there is one guy in his lineup he doesn’t worry about getting through such a funk and that’s Stanton.
“He’ll be fine,’’ said Mattingly, who continued to put Stanton in the cleanup spot Monday. “Through all of this, you don’t want to see anyone struggle and go through things, it’s going to happen. ... I know the track record is there, and he’s a worker. He’s going to continue to move forward. It’s going to come around.’’
Stanton has some pretty good company as far as the worst hitting slumps in Marlins history go.
Aside from going 4 for 50 himself, other notables in franchise history who got just a handful of hits in 50 at-bats include Derek Lee (two, 1998), Jeff Conine (four, 1997), Alex Gonzalez (4, 2000), Mike Lowell (4, 2000) and Hanley Ramirez (four, 2006).
Justin Ruggiano holds the franchise record for futility in a 50 at-bat span, getting just one hit in 2013.
“I’ve felt good and have had a bad three days,’’ Stanton said. “I’m feeling good, but this is going to be magnified in times like this. You have to realize that. I know how it is, but if you say that, you should get yourself out of it. It ain’t that easy. I just have to keep at it. Everyone has the answer. You just have to move slowly.’’
THIS AND THAT
▪ Outfielder Christian Yelich was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game with back spasms.
▪ Mattingly managed the Marlins against cross-state rivals Tampa Bay for the first time Monday.
“I’ve been in the Subway Series, the Freeway Series and now the Citrus Series,” the former Yankees first baseman and Dodgers manager joked.
As far as the World Series goes, well ...
“I missed that one,” he said. “Close.”
▪ Stanton said it’s “amazing to watch” how Ichiro Suzuki continues to play at age 42.
As Panthers’ goalie Roberto Luongo said of 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr, Suzuki seems to get “a milestone a night.”
On Sunday, Suzuki got his 2,955th major league hit surpassing Willie Keeler for 32nd on the all-time list.
On Monday, Suzuki singled in his first two at-bats.
“Seeing him every day, I understand why every hit he gets we’re keeping the ball, or his jersey or this base or that base,’’ Stanton said. “It’s cool. They’ve been here a long time. They know what to do.’’
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-4, 4.71 ERA) vs. Tampa Bay Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 3.81), 12:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (2-2, 4.30) vs. Tampa Bay Rays RHP Matt Andriese (3-0, 2.11), 7:10 p.m., Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg.