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A Stanton Bomb And An S-Bomb

Two bombs for the price of one.

June 21, 2018 - 9:20 am

It’s no secret that Giancarlo Stanton has been struggling in his first season with the Yankees. Whether it’s the adjustment to the American League or the pressure of the pinstripes, he just hasn’t been himself. And what he has been is a strikeout machine. There have been questions about his batting stance, his place in the order, and why he noticeably different hitter at home versus the road. 

To truly become a Yankee, you need a signature moment and nearly halfway through the season, his only iconic moment in Yankee Stadium was being booed in Yankee Stadium. And it looked like that was going to continue last night against the Mariners as he added two more strikeouts to bring his season total to 98.

Meanwhile, Seattle took a 3-0 lead, then extended it to 5-0 in the top of the fifth. They gave back a couple in the bottom of the inning, another in the seventh, and then two more in the eighth on a 2-run shot from Gary Sanchez.

All of that set the stage for a pressure moment in the bottom of the ninth. The score tied at 5. Two outs. One man on. Mariner Ryan Cook on the mound. Yankee Giancarlo Stanton at the plate. 

Cook got to an 0-2 count on Stanton. And given that Stanton has been struggling so badly at home and is two strikeouts away from triple digits, the outcome seemed inevitable. 

So if you’re Ryan Cook, now you have a couple options. You could waste a pitch. Or three. Try to get Stanton to chase something out of the zone and strikeout or maybe hit a weak roller. 

Or, you could throw an 85 mph slider right over the heart of the plate. Guess what Cook did. And guess what Stanton did. 

That came in at 85 and went out at 117.9. And landed about a mile down the road. That was an absolute laser. I could throw all sorts of details at you like how it had the highest exit velocity of a walk off home run since Statcast started. Or how nobody else in baseball has as many home runs with exit velocities above 115 as Stanton, but we don’t need to go all seamhead and egghead on it.

I can tell you how incredible that home run was with just one sound. And it’s not the sound of Stanton’s bat on the ball. It’s the sound of Ryan Cook’s scream into the night.

That was a signature moment for both guys.  

Sure, the home run was great, but the epic part of it wasn’t the ball being smashed or Stanton’s trip around the bases, or the celebration that greeted him at home. The greatest part of that moment was Cook’s reaction. 

Sometimes a pitcher knows a ball is leaving the park the moment it leaves the bat. I’m pretty sure Cook knew that was gone the moment it left his hand. Because he was bent over and cursing in a hurry. The ball had barely gone over his head and he was already going x-rated. 

Bam! Bam! Two bombs for the price of one. A Stanton bomb and an s-bomb. 

Truly iconic. Not just for Stanton, but for Cook. Sure, Stanton gets the walk off and his first Gatorade shower in Yankee Stadium, but Cook got off the loudest blast of the night. 

I don’t know if we’ll look back at the end of this season and say last night was the moment that Giancarlo Stanton truly became a Yankee, but I know it’s the moment Ryan Cook became a legend.