Giancarlo Stanton: Mean Vato of the Month, it has a nice ring to it.
The slugger formerly known as Mike Stanton loomed larger than ever in May, unleashing hell on opposing pitchers, hitters and even his new playing confines of Sun Life Stadium as he acclimated to his new stripes.
As Hurricane Giancarlo ushered in the Atlantic storm season, his path of destruction almost included cutting his own cutoff man in half with a point-blank laser beam from shallow right.
Stanton was slow to start his long-ball tally this season, burning a career-high 97 at-bats until connecting on a solitary bomb in the opening month as the Marlins sunk to an 8-14 record.
Once Giancarlo’s Marucci warmed up, the Marlins sprung to life, stringing together seven straight victories to start May, with Stanton hitting safely in each game and providing five home runs.
Stanton had a day as the Marlins notched their tenth win of the month on just the 13th day, logging three hits including a walk-off Grand Slam against the Mets.
Two days later, Stanton proved he was also a Mean Vato with his glove, reeling in a long fly by Garrett Jones on the wall during a victory over the Pirates.
He then backed it up the following night by taking away an extra-base hit from Jason Hayward with a picture-perfect diving catch to help preserve a win against the Braves.
Stanton saved his best for the tail end of May, beginning with another Grand Slam, this time against the Colorado Rockies to give his team the go-ahead shot on the way to a 7-4 win.
The 49 year-old Jamie Moyer assisted the 462-foot missile launch that struck and damaged Miami’s plush new scoreboard.
Three nights later Stanton hit his next bomb, unloading another tape measure shot of 458 feet off the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong that reached the Budweiser Balcony deep over left field.
Having already given Miami’s new home-run sculpture a workout over the past three weeks, the next night Stanton sent an 80mph offering by Tim Lincecum 432 feet to left-center and into the Marlin-encrusted merry-go-round.
The Marlins capped May with a three-game sweep of the Nationals to complete a 21-7 run, in wins alone Stanton racked up 31 hits at .388 with 26 RBI and 11 home runs.
As for Josh Hamilton, Andrew McCutchen, Adam Dunn and Adam Jones, they were all mean in May, but not mean enough to displace Giancarlo as the meanest vato in baseball.
1 Junio 2012