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Mark Brown/Getty ImagesGiancarlo Stanton donned a New York Yankees uniform as the reigning National League MVP but also a potential payroll
albatross.As he enters the stretch run of his first campaign in
pinstripes Gregor Blanco Jersey , Stanton is playing the role of season-saving superstar and earning every penny New York is paying him.With his doppelganger
and co-slugger Aaron Judge on the shelf and New York's postseason hopes suddenly
in flux, Stanton has hoisted the Yanks onto his ample shoulders.Judge went down
July 26 with a fractured wrist. In August, Stanton owns a 1.051 OPS with eight
home runs and 18 RBI.Here's a home run he launched Aug. 9 against the Texas
Rangers that reached the bleachers at Yankee Stadium (at 121.7 mph, it was also
the hardest-hit home run of the Statcast era, per MLB.com's Matt Kelly):Note how
radio play-by-play announcer John Sterling hardly had time to make a call before
the ball was in the stands. That's how you know Stanton got all of it.It's
vintage Stanton, destroyer of baseballs. And it couldn't have come at a better
time for New York.The Yankees are seven games behind the Boston Red Sox and
unlikely to catch their archrivals for the division crown. That said, they're in
position to claim the American League's top wild-card position, thanks in large
part to Stanton's exploits.After opening August with five straight losses,
they've gone 14-5 and quelled fears of a total collapse.In addition to Judge,
the team has been without the services of catcher Gary Sanchez, who is working
his way back from a groin injury. Shortstop Didi Gregorius is sidelined with a
bruised left heel.Meanwhile, ace Luis Severino owns a 5.40 August ERA, and the
rest of the starting rotation is a mishmash of uncertainty."It's good to produce
anyway http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-pablo-sandoval-jersey , anytime. But it's obviously more important than most times," Stanton said of his
role as stretch-run savior, per Pete Caldera of the North Jersey Record. "Just
got to step it up."Stanton's Yankees tenure didn't get off to a roaring start.
After the club acquired him from the Miami Marlins in the offseason's biggest
blockbuster trade, he hit a paltry .218 in April with 40 strikeouts. He heard
boos.Now, despite wrestling with a balky hamstring, he's rediscovered the stroke
that made him a four-time All-Star with Miami and one of the game's must-watch
talents.Most impressively, he's doing it for the Bronx Bombers in the heat of a
playoff race. Putting up big numbers for the lowly Marlins while annually
missing the postseason was one thing; leading the Yanks as they push toward
October is another.Mark Brown/Getty Images"He's an elite-level slugger," manager
Aaron Boone told reporters. "He's a big reason why we've been able to continue
to win games."He's done this late-blooming thing before. Last season, Stanton
hit 38 home runs in his final 78 games en route to 59 homers. As they await the
return of Judge, Sanchez and Gregorius and cross their fingers for the starting
staff to pull its weight, the Yankees are surely hoping Stanton has another
similarly Ruthian streak in the offing.Maybe he can carry it into his first
playoff foray. Pop your popcorn.New York is paying Stanton $25 million this
season. He'll earn $26 million in each of 2019 and 2020. After that, he can opt
out and test the open market or opt in to a contract that was worth $325 million
when he inked it with the Fish in November 2014.That's a lot of coin, to state
the painfully obvious. Then again Duane Kuiper Jersey , Stanton is 28 years old and in the prime of his impressive, dinger-launching career. He's a marketable star who seems to have
found his place in the Big Apple after a shaky landing.The Yankees might go
shopping in the offseason. They could dip into their perennially deep pockets
and sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.They've already got a superstar, however.
Judge, Sanchez, Gregorius and the bullpen may have their say. But Stanton is
emerging as the man.And if the Yankees want to ride deep into the playoffs, he's
the guy who will carry them. All statistics and contract information accurate
entering play Sunday and courtesy of Baseball Reference. WASHINGTON — The
Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals fumbled opportunities to gain
ground on the Atlanta Braves this weekend.Now they’ll meet in an important
three-game series beginning Tuesday night.The situation isn’t nearly as dire for
the Phillies, who find themselves tied with Braves, but the Nationals are 7 1/2
games back and may have used up all of their mulligans.Article continues below
...Washington (62-63) dropped two of three games to the Miami Marlins, who are
in last place in the National League East, and have lost six of eight.
Philadelphia (68-56) hasn’t floundered quite as badly, winning five of their
last 13, but dropped three of five games to the New York Mets while the Braves
were losing four straight to the Rockies.“We understand that we’ve had some
missed opportunities to take some steps forward here,” Phillies manager Gabe
Kapler told MLB.com after the Phillies lost 8-2 Sunday in the Little League
Classic in Williamsport http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-nick-ahmed-jersey , Pa.“So, at this very moment, I’m not thinking about how fortunate we are. I do
feel like we’re in a good spot in the standings, but I’m thinking about the fact
that we need to take the day off, regroup and get ready to play the
Nationals.”The Nationals have some regrouping to do themselves. After losing in
extra innings Saturday night, they were manhandled by the Marlins 12-1 on
Sunday, getting just two hits off starter Jose Urena, who tossed his first
career complete game.Washington starter Gio Gonzalez (7-10) continues to
struggle, allowing eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.“I think it was in
all honesty an ugly game. And everybody saw it,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez
said.Before Sunday’s game, Martinez announced that right-hander Stephen
Strasburg (cervical nerve impingement) will come off the disabled list to pitch
the second game of the series Wednesday night. He’ll be sandwiched between
Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer.“It’s nice to be able to go into that series with
our three best pitchers,” Martinez said.Added outfielder Adam Eaton to MASN.com:
“A good week or two, a sweep of two teams that are ahead of us Jake Lamb Jersey , can get us right back in the ballgame. But we’ve got to do it now.”Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA) struggled in the first half, but the
right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.77 ERA overall since the All-Star break. Last time
out, Roark picked up a win when he allowed four runs (three earned) in six
innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.He is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA against the
Phillies this season and 6-9 with a 4.18 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) in his
career.Right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-9, 4.13) gets the opener for the
Phillies. He has allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings in his last two
starts.Velasuez got the win when he faced Roark and the Nationals on May 5 and
took a no-decision against Washington on June 30. He’s 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA in
six starts against the Nationals.Tuesday will tell who was better able to bounce
back from a disappointing weekend.“There’s still quite a bit of baseball left,”
the Phillies Nick Pivetta, Sunday’s losing pitcher, told MLB.com. “There’s not a
ton, but there’s still a good enough amount where nights like these you can
brush them off your shoulders and take the off-day tomorrow, regain your
strength, go into Washington.“I know these men in here. (Tuesday) we’re going to
go in there, we’re going to look for the sweep against those Nationals.”
Posted 19 Nov 2018

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