Bang, zoom! To the moon, Alice!
Giancarlo Stanton is the modern Ralph Kramden, though he is not threatening to send the lovely Mrs. Kramden to earthâs lone satellite. Baseballs, however, are in mortal danger.
Stanton, the Miami Marlins outfielder, is hitting home runs that can be described as moonshots. High, deep, explosive, as if powered by rockets. Bang. Zoom.
Stanton extended his clubâs single-season record of home runs to 44 on Tuesday night in a 9-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. This homer, according to Statcast, went 432 feet. To the moon, Alice!
That marked the sixth straight game in which Stanton has homered, the longest such streak in the majors since 2015 and two short of the all-time record. It was also his 11th HR in his last 12 games. Heâs now on a pace to hit more than 60 this season; only five players have done that (a combined eight times) and three are tainted by steroids and performance-enhancing substances: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Babe Ruth and Roger Maris are the other two.
Stanton has opened quite a lead in the home run race over Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (36) and three others at 34. Here in the eighth year of his career, all with Miami, he has hit 252 homers. Heâs tied for 23rd among active players with Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.
The shame of it is that Marlinsâ games are so lightly attended that not enough folks see Stanton. The Marlins are 57-61 (.483) and 14 Â˝ games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East. Theyâre not going to the postseason, and last took part in the playoffs in 2003. Though the franchise has collected a pair of World Series wins since its birth in 1993, it has never actually won its division.
Youâve got a TV. The next time the Marlins are on, tune in. You might just see something special. Because Stanton is special.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman