Since July 5, Giancarlo Stanton has belted 22 home runs. So too have the San Francisco Giants.
And on Monday night in Miami, Stanton’s power, and the Giants’ lack thereof, was a problem.
In the bottom of the first inning on Monday, Stanton stepped to the plate and cracked his 43rd home run of the year, a new Miami Marlins’ single-season record, to give his club a 2-0 lead in an eventual 8-3 victory. The line drive shot over the left field fence gave the Marlins’ right fielder as many home runs in the last five and a half weeks as the entire Giants’ ballclub, which helped highlight San Francisco’s offensive struggles.
Though the Giants did fight back to tie the game, and even jumped out to a 3-2 lead at one point, Miami’s force was too much for a San Francisco lineup that is sorely lacking a powerful right-handed spark.
Stanton wasn’t the only Miami hitter to take Giants’ starter Ty Blach deep on Monday night, and in fact, his fifth home run in his last five games wasn’t even the furthest ball he or the Marlins hit during the contest.
After pushing Miami out to a 2-0 edge in the first, Stanton hit a towering, majestic flyball to deep left center field in the bottom of the third inning, but after it carried an estimated 393 feet, Giants’ center fielder Denard Span made a leaping catch at the wall to rob the Marlins’ star of extra bases.
Though Stanton’s out traveled further than his 382-foot home run, the deepest bash of the night belonged to his outfield mate, Marlins’ left fielder Marcell Ozuna.
A player who developed a lasting bond with former Marlins’ hitting coach Barry Bonds, the two-time All-Star clobbered a solo home run to dead center field off of Blach in the bottom of the fifth. Ozuna’s monstrous display of power resulted in a 456-foot tape measure shot, and gave Miami a 6-3 lead that it wouldn’t look back from.
Ozuna’s home run actually wound up landing in the camera well more than 50 feet beyond the center field wall, and served as another reminder of the type of presence the Giants just haven’t had this season.
The Marlins’ offensive surge was a familiar sight for Giants’ pitchers, who surrendered 21 runs over three games against a Miami club that swept them at home heading into the All-Star break.
Perhaps the only surprising part of Miami’s offensive exploits were that they came against Blach, a rookie who has become the most reliable pitcher not named Bumgarner in San Francisco’s rotation since the All-Star break.
Entering Monday, Blach had thrown at least seven innings in each of his past five starts, and had allowed just two runs or fewer in four of those five outings. The lone starter in the Giants’ rotation who possessed a winning record coming into the series, Blach fell back to .500 (8-8) when he was saddled with the loss.
When Blach faltered, though, the Giants’ offense failed to pick him up, as the Giants’ third inning rally was the only sign of life from an offense that’s among the worst in the Major Leagues.
A two-run double from center fielder Denard Span and an RBI single from right fielder Hunter Pence led to all three of the Giants’ third inning runs, but the 3-2 edge San Francisco held didn’t hold up in the bottom half of the inning, as a Christian Yelich RBI single tied up the game.
Thanks to a Friday postponement that led to a split doubleheader in Washington on Sunday, the Giants didn’t arrive in Miami until after the early hours of Monday morning. Though San Francisco looked understandably exhausted, the Giants will have an opportunity to rebound behind Madison Bumgarner on Tuesday evening.