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Giancarlo Stanton again dominates Nats

May 26, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Giancarlo Stanton has been in the majors – and in the National League East - for five years now. His power is nothing new, from the moment he stepped on a big league field he presented a home run threat.

The problem now, however, is that he has help. Only once before this season had Stanton played on a Marlins team that ranked in the top half of the majors in offense. That was 2010 when they placed 15th in MLB with 4.44 runs per game.

The 2014 Marlins currently place sixth in baseball in runs, as veterans like Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have solidified their lineup. Stanton not only has the individual talent, now he has a supporting cast.

Whether his team is the primary reason or not, Stanton is off to the best start of his career. After his 3-for-4 performance on Monday – an outing that included two runs, two RBI and an estimated 447-foot home run – Stanton is hitting .316 on the year.

Tanner Roark, the Nats’ pitcher who served up Stanton’s two-run shot in the third inning, described his approach against the menacing slugger.

“You have to go out there and be aggressive and not be scared. You definitely can’t be scared. Just attack him.”

Roark was nearly out of the third inning before he hit Derek Dietrich on the elbow with two outs. Roark said he was trying to pitch inside to Dietrich, whom he described as a pull hitter.

“I know he likes to pull the ball. I just wanted to get in there and not even throw a strike, really. I kind of overthrew it and hit him in his elbow pad.”

Putting Dietrich on base extended the inning and set up Stanton’s at-bat. Roark threw him a slider and it just didn’t break.

“I didn’t execute it. He just put it a long way.”

“If it’s a hanging breaking ball, he can hit it over the fence. And that’s what it was,” Matt Williams said.

“Tanner certainly didn’t wanna throw it there, and that’s what happens sometimes with him – if you hang that breaking ball out over the plate, sometimes it gets whacked. And it got whacked today.”

Stanton currently leads the National League with 15 home runs and has 49 RBI. That’s through 52 games, putting him on pace for roughly 47 homers and 153 RBI. What was once one of the best sluggers in baseball has become one of the best overall hitters in the game.

What makes his emergence even more unfortunate for the Nationals is his remarkable success against them. Stanton’s numbers through five years against the Nats and while playing in Washington are jawdropping.

After Monday, Stanton is now hitting .317 in 61 games against the Nats. He has 21 home runs, 20 doubles and 50 RBI. Of his 69 total hits, 41 of them were for extra bases.

Stanton’s numbers are remarkably good at Nationals Park. Since entering the league, he has hit more homers by a visitor to D.C. (14) than any other player.

“I don’t know what it is, that’s just baseball,” Stanton said. “I understand I do a little bit better here, I can’t really attest it to anything.”

As noted in the game story, his 21 home runs and 50 RBI against the Nationals put him in pretty rare company. Only Jose Bautista has as many homers and RBI against one team (the Red Sox) since 2010.

Stanton is under contract through 2017, so even with the Marlins’ penchant for trading young stars before they reach free agency, he’s going to be around for a while. He’s a big problem and not an easy one to solve.

“He’s a really good hitter. He’s got big power. We’ve got to be careful with that guy,” catcher Wilson Ramos said.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - May 26, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    It’s a sad commentary that three runs is all it takes to ‘dominate’ the Nats during the month of May.

    • senators69 - May 26, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Getting tiresome…so far this year losing about 5 to 8 games we shoulda won. Adds up…500 team. Just can’t keep saying “it’s just baseball”. I’m getting real tired of that excuse. Yes, I know we got guys out, but still, I’d be real surprised (but happy) if the Nats make the playoffs. My gut tells me we’ll be just a little shy…again.

      M.Williams needs to tighten up his act and be a bit quicker to substitute or bench if it increases the probability of the Nats winning. If players’ feeling hurt…too bad! Grow up… “This IS baseball” — Winning

  2. Doc - May 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    With due regard to the greatness of Stanton, it was the Marlins pitchers, not Stanton, that beat us.

    • veejh - May 26, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Eovaldi wasn’t that good. Our pathetic approach and swings (along with a blind ump) was all it took.

  3. scnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    Three hits tells the story.

    This team has talent but it has seemed for the last two years it is terribly short of players who know how to win. I would say they don’t care but I don’t know them well enought but it sure seems to the eye just a lot of talented guys cashing paychecks.

  4. manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    They don’t play with yrgancy from what I can tell. I probably would play with too much urgancy if I had had the talent.

    Again a HBP scores against us. We get hit twice neither came close to smelling home.

  5. JamesFan - May 26, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Hard to watch a team with no offense. These Nats pitchers must be quietly frustrated.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    Valverde released immediately after the Mets game. He gave up 4 runs in the top of the 9th in a 3-1 game. Mets lost 5-3.

    • Nats Amore - May 26, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      And the Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens also shown the door.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Are the Mets outhitting the Nats

      • Nats Amore - May 26, 2014 at 8:35 PM

        Can’t reply to mnf on the iPhone, web page, but in terms of average, Nats are at .245, Mets .237.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        Schu not on hot seat. Though our RISP probably no better than Mets

      • therealjohnc - May 26, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        Remember when Schu was widely regarded as the team’s savior? Ending Rick Eckstein’s Reign of Error?

        Perhaps it’s not the coach, or the approach.

  7. Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    I posted during the game that Charlie Slowes announced Ryan Zimmerman was cleared to start swinging the bat. Interesting timing to announce it and no other media member had that news until after the game.

  8. Candide - May 26, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Second series in a row where the Nats get beaten by the one guy on the other team who you don’t want to have beat you. McCutcheon for the Pirates, and Stanton for the Marlins.

    Can’t we just walk these guys? Or at least make them swing at stuff just off the plate? Seems the other teams are doing a good job of scouting Werth and Rendon. Pitch Werth outside. Nibble outside for Rendon until you get two strikes on him, and then when he’s leaning out looking for that outside pitch, bust him inside for strike 3.

    • manassasnatsfan - May 26, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Why can’t we? I am guessing it never cross Steve McCatty’s mind.

    • therealjohnc - May 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      Heck, with the umpires the way they are, you don’t even have to bust Rendon inside over the plate – you can nearly hit him, and that’s good enough for strike three!

  9. Whynat - May 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    You know it was a tough day at the ball yard when the highlight of the experience was jeering at the dead fish on second after the replay challenge was upheld.

  10. David Proctor - May 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    So now that Zim has been cleared for baseball activities, what timetable are we looking at? I know Matt would not commit, but what is typical? Zim does not normally need a long rehab assignment.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 9:29 PM

      Last DL stint he did 1 rehab MiLB start and came back. I hope this time they take it slowly. Yes, they need his offense but they also need him to be effective defensively.

      • Doc - May 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Defensively?

        That’s a big question mark, Ghost.

        Keep our fingers crossed. But we sure could use his bat.

        I think we’ve seen the future at 3B, and it’s Rendon. He plays the way RZim used to play.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

        Doc, I like Rendon but RZim in 2006 to 2009 had it all defensively. He looked like he would dominate the Gold Gloves. Since 2010, its hard to watch.

        Speaking of defense. I went back to watch the 1st inning and very surprised that Werth didn’t make that play on the ball hit by Stanton. It was very catchable. Then the single by Desmond had to be smothered if he couldn’t field it. Watching that 1 run score there was preventable.

        Defense matters. Roark threw 5 bad pitches the whole game and only 1 was hit well and that was the hanging slider to Stanton. This team has the ability to win 2-1 and 2-0 games if the defense can be tightened up.

        It gets old watching the other teams the Nats play make great defensive plays. Like I wrote earlies, the Nats have 3 Web Gems in the past 3 weeks and they are from McLouth, TyMo and Ramos and all on foul ball catches.

    • Doc - May 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Thanks for the link, Ghost.

      Hope all that praise doesn’t mean that Zach is ‘roiding!

      Having read all the Conseco tweets, I’d have to say that the steroids must have affected his spelling!

      So Ghost, if Walters gets good, where do we put him? 2B?

      Kinda think that the kid has a ways to go.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        It’s a head scratcher. Not sure if Canseco is having some fun with Trout and Harper by mentioning Walters. Not even sure how Walters got on his radar. Canseco is such a screwup, who knows.

        I still see Walters having to move to the right side of the infield or LF. SS is not in his future.

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Hope you all are watching this Dodgers game.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    AJ Ellis with a bad ankle sprain caused by celebrating yesterday’s no-hitter he jumped on came down on the catchers mask and twisted his ankle.

    Crazy, huh.

  13. Doc - May 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Mikey Mo is on fire!

    He had 3 2-baggers to-day. Got 33 RBIs for the season.

    Nats’ stadium is going to go nuts when the SFG come to town!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      The 3 doubles were yesterday. Today he only got a lousy triple.

      • Doc - May 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM

        Sorry for the wrong info.

        Went to ESPN MLB Scoreboard, and just assumed that they were to-days’ games.

        I’ve been readin’ too many Conseco tweets!!! LOL

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        José is nuts!

  14. Ghost of Steve M. - May 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    Tom Milone shutout the Tigers today in a 10-0 route. He had 6 Ks in 6 2/3 innings. This is a game with a DH and no pitchers batting.

    • Doc - May 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

      Since he has arrived with the A’s, Milone has been up and down with their AAA team.

      He was all major league when he pitched against us. Guess he’s figured something out, ‘cus he did it to the Tigers too!

    • therealjohnc - May 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      It was a home game. Milone is a very good pitcher … in Oakland, with deep fences, lots of foul ground and a fast outfield. On the road, he’s really not very good. If you look at his career splits, his home/road numbers really are dramatically different.

      If he had shut out the Tigers in Detroit, that would have been shocking. To do so in Oakland is a mild surprise.

      • therealjohnc - May 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        This season alone Milone has given up 20 runs (17 earned) in 27.1 IP on the road, a 5.60 ERA. At home he has two shutouts (Nats and Tigers) and only four runs in 26.1 IP – a 1.35 ERA! It’s not all luck, either – batters have tattooed him for a .792 OPS on the road, but only .512 at home.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 27, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Same as last year John but credit still given no matter where he’s pitching because I saw the 6 Ks and he was painting inside edge on the Righties.

      • therealjohnc - May 27, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Oh, I give him credit – it’s an achievement to shut out any team, much less the Tigers, even Tiger team that has been scuffling for over a week. But given his track record in Oakland and the current state of the Tigers it is, while certainly impressive, not really shocking.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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