Stanton's HR streak sets Yankees record

October 8th, 2020

may have had a quiet ending to the 2020 regular season, but it’s hard to be more locked in at the plate than the slugger has been since the postseason got underway.

In the eighth inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday, Stanton launched a two-run homer, capping the Yankees’ offense in an 8-4 loss to the Rays.

After homering in each of New York’s playoff games so far this season, Stanton joins Daniel Murphy (six in 2015), Carlos Beltrán (five in 2004) and George Springer (five in 2017-18) as the only players in postseason history to homer in five consecutive games. He's also the first player ever to homer in each of his team's first five games of a postseason.

“I feel good,” Stanton said. “Hitting is difficult either way you look at it. But yeah, just really sticking to good plans I’d say, over anything.”

His 410-foot blast to center on Wednesday tied him with Alex Rodriguez (2009) and Bernie Williams (1996) for the most homers in a single postseason in club history with six. He became the first Yankees player to homer in five straight playoff games, passing Reggie Jackson, who was in attendance at Petco Park for Stanton’s blast, and Lou Gehrig, both of whom homered in four consecutive playoff games.

“[If] I stick to my plan, I’ll be fine,” Stanton said. “If you fall into [the pitcher’s plan], bad things will happen.”

With his two-run homer, Stanton officially hit for the home run cycle during the ALDS, launching a solo blast in the second inning of Game 2, a two-run homer on Wednesday, a three-run long ball in the fourth inning of Game 2 and a grand slam in the ninth on Monday. According to STATS, he joins just Nelson Cruz (2011 ALCS) as the only players in MLB history to hit for the home run cycle in a single playoff series.

“It’s been incredible,” teammate Aaron Judge said of watching Stanton. “This is the type of player that I knew he is, he’s always been. He’s a guy that can come up in big situations and hit you a homer. It doesn’t matter the situation, he’ll hit you a homer. Using all parts of the field, against relievers, against starters, you know, great starters. It’s been impressive.” 

Since the start of the 2019 season, Stanton has hit seven regular-season homers (in 41 games), with a matching seven long balls in the playoffs (10 games). In his five postseason games in 2020, Stanton has gone 7-for-19 with six homers and 13 RBIs. And with the Yankees facing elimination in Game 4, the club will need his red-hot bat to help force a Game 5.

“It’s been fun to watch so far,” Judge said. “We just need to step up as a team and support him as he keeps doing his thing. We got to get some more guys on base for him so those two-run homers are maybe three-run homers, you know?”

“We got to come out swinging,” Stanton said. “We got to come out exactly like that, like our backs are against the wall. It’s now or never, so let’s go.”