55th Stanton HR a beauty beside sculpture

455-foot shot puts slugger 19th on single-season list

September 19th, 2017

MIAMI -- The mini home run drought for ended with a thunderous clout in the fourth inning of the Marlins' 13-1 rout of the Mets on Monday at Marlins Park.

Stanton blistered a slider off right-hander Matt Harvey for a three-run home run that torpedoed past the home run sculpture in center field. The All-Star right-hander added a run-scoring single on a four-RBI night, which came after he asked for a day off on Sunday at Milwaukee due to fatigue.

Stanton boosted his MLB-leading home run total to 55, connecting for the first time since Sept. 9 at Atlanta, and moving him closer to 60 with 12 games to remaining. He now has 117 RBIs, the fourth highest season total in Marlins history. Preston Wilson holds the club record with 121 set in 2000.

The 55 dingers by Stanton are the most by any MLB player since hit 58 with the Phillies in 2006. But admittedly, the slugger has struggled in September, entering Monday with a .170 batting average with three homers and three RBIs in the month.

Due to the slump, Stanton isn't caught up in reaching 55. Instead, he's reminding himself to "worry about it when we're done. I haven't had the greatest at-bats. Just have better at-bats and good things will happen, whether they're lineouts or homers, good things will happen."

"I thought he looked better, obviously," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "And it's good to get home. Honestly, it's good to be back and get off the road a little bit. Guys this time of the year, it's tough day to day. But it is nice to get home, for sure."

Stanton made hard contact all night, a good sign for the Marlins. In the eighth inning, he lined out to left field that was hit at 117.7 mph.

"Those are good outs," Stanton said. "I haven't had too many good outs lately. I felt better the past couple of days. Even if it doesn't look as pretty, it's how you feel in there. You build in and hopefully get some games like this, and lead into something better."

But it was the home run to center that was particularly loud and impressive. Statcast™ projected the distance at 455 feet with an exit velocity of 114.2 mph. The low liner had a launch angle of just 17 degrees -- making it the longest home run with a launch angle of 17 degrees or lower since Statcast™ launched in 2015.

"Just get something to get the big part of the field, at least move them over, if you're not going to do damage," Stanton said. "That was the thought process of the at-bat."

The latest Stanton smash snapped a span of 29 straight at-bats without going deep. The All-Star slugger got all of Harvey's 89.5-mph slider, with Dee Gordon on second base and on first.

With getting a day off, Stanton hit third on Monday, the first time he hasn't hit in the second spot since May 21 against the Dodgers, when he hit fourth.

Stanton keeps reaching historical levels each time he knocks the ball out of the park. Just 19 times in Major League history has 55 home runs been reached.

Since 2000, only five other players have hit 55 homers. Barry Bonds set the MLB single-season record with 73 in 2001, and Sammy Sosa finished that year with 64. Howard, Luis Gonzalez (57 in 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (57 in 2002) complete the list.

The sluggish September comes after Stanton belted 18 home runs and was named the National League Player of the Month in August.

"I've had more comfortable at-bats the past two days," Stanton said. "I've just got to turn it around."