While the sound of boos rained down on Giancarlo Stanton during his Yankee debut at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, the sound of cheers and applause ensued after the slugger struck out twice against Red Sox ace Chris Sale.
But Stanton revealed his disdain for the status quo, which was — or still is — a short, but deep hitting funk.
Despite how horrendous the Yankees’ offense and pitching performed in their 14-1 loss to Boston, the lone silver lining came from Stanton’s bat, as he later laced a single (off Sale) and a double to finish 2-for-4 — his first multi-hit game since April 6.
Did those hits come during garbage time? That’s up for debate. But consider it progress for baseball’s current strikeouts leader (22), simply because he said so.
“I felt much better, saw the ball better, I feel like I made good progress today,” Stanton told the New York Post after the game. “We have two more games here and hopefully I can pick up where I left off today.”
Whether or not Stanton has been pressing, guessing, or feeling pressure in his first two weeks in pinstripes, he told the New York Daily News that he watched film of his swing, which clearly looked abnormal.
“Make sure you’re not trying too hard and trying to do too much, which can subconsciously creep in no matter what,” said Stanton, who has hit .196 with three home runs and seven RBI in 52 plate appearances. “That’s the main thing: get a good pitch to hit and don’t worry about the outside noise.
“The boos? That’s how it’s going to be. That’s part of the stuff you don’t worry about. You understand that it’s there and I’ve still got to play my game.”
Although the entire baseball world has dissected Stanton’s early slump, Aaron Boone expects the behemoth slugger to find his groove relatively soon.
“I want him to get jump-started because I know what a difference-maker he is,” Boone told the New York Post. “But I don’t really worry about it. I know what his behind-the-scenes work is. I know how committed he is.
“For a guy like Giancarlo, he’s going to have weeks where he gets a little out of whack and it doesn’t necessarily look great.”
The Yankees surely hope Stanton will take more steps forward on Wednesday night, when Red Sox southpaw David Price takes the mound.