Can Stanton lead Marlins into the postseason?
Giancarlo Stanton for me epitomises what an MVP player is. He is taking a team that has no business having any postseason aspirations and placed them on his shoulders as he tries to carry a load that no mere mortal could handle.
Split PA HR RBI OBP SLG OPS April/March 100 7 16 .350 .529 .879 May 115 7 21 .348 .579 .927 June 112 7 13 .357 .516 .873 July 113 12 23 .407 .731 1.138 August 110 17 35 .482 1.000 1.482
Don Mattingly was trying to give credit to other members of the team such as Dee Gordon.
Gordon’s ability to reach has put teams in a tough spot, because it makes it more difficult to pitch around the slugger.
“Dee is the key to that,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Dee getting on base changes things. You have to pay a little bit of attention to him. G’s been able to take advantage of that.”
and for a second I bought into that. Until I checked the splits for Gordon for August. That OBP of .303 isn’t doing much setting up. But I will say the just about every time Dee does manage to get on on-base, he is scoring. Dee has reached base thirty times in August and scored twenty-three runs. For context, Chris Taylor has reached base thirty-six times in August and scored 50% of the time with eighteen runs.
Don Mattingly moved Stanton to the number two hole and the results speak for themselves.
Split PA HR RBI OBP SLG OPS Batting 2nd 364 39 78 .420 .751 1.171 Batting 4th 155 11 29 .335 .565 .901 Batting 5th 28 0 1 .321 .346 .668
Batting order may not mean much but for Giancarlo Stanton, they mean the difference between being an MVP and simply being great. For this move alone you could consider giving Don Mattingly the Manager of the Year award if the Marlins make the postseason.
Speaking about the postseason, at the break the Marlins were 41 – 46 and lost five of the first six after the break to put them at 42-50. Since that time they are 24 – 13 and with 66 wins are now 4.5 games back of the Rockies for the 2nd wild card. That is still a ways to go but they do have a soft schedule coming up. Still, the odds are high they will not make the postseason but for the first time in a long time, I would have no problem giving my MVP vote to a player on a team who did not make the postseason.
It isn’t just Stanton, but he is the biggest part of the Marlin resurgence. The Marlin outfield is playing like the best outfield in baseball. And when Dee Gordon does run, he has learned to pick his spots. Dee is 8 of 9 in SB in August and 46/10 for the season. Ex-Dodger AJ Ellis is having a nice August as All-Star Realmuto struggles, and Miguel Rojas has been the starting SS for most of the month.
Player Split Year HR PA OBP SLG OPS Giancarlo Stanton August 2017 17 110 .482 1.000 1.482 Christian Yelich August 2017 3 105 .381 .478 .859 Marcell Ozuna August 2017 7 103 .408 .575 .982 Dee Gordon August 2017 0 100 .303 .316 .619 J.T. Realmuto August 2017 4 96 .208 .360 .568 Derek Dietrich August 2017 3 95 .400 .506 .906 Miguel Rojas August 2017 0 88 .295 .278 .574 Tomas Telis August 2017 0 55 .273 .314 .586 Tyler Moore August 2017 0 49 .229 .267 .496 Mike Aviles August 2017 0 36 .353 .355 .708 A.J. Ellis August 2017 2 28 .357 .429 .786 Ichiro Suzuki August 2017 1 23 .391 .500 .891
Other crazy baseball notes.
Rhys Hoskins is eclipsing all of the records that Cody Bellinger set earlier in the year. Hoskins hit his 11th home run yesterday, in just his 18th game. For good measure, he started a triple play yesterday.
Hoskins has homered in eight of his last nine games. The only game in which he didn’t hit a home run came in the nightcap of a doubleheader, so he’s actually hit a home run in eight straight days that the Phillies have played a game.
For the rest of us under the age of 50, it may simply be enough to know that even if we’re having a particularly bad day, statistically speaking things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
Evidently, my happiness is supposed to be on the upswing.
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