WASHINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton continued his dominant stretch at the plate Monday night with his 37th home run -- this one coming off Nationals ace Max Scherzer.The long ball tied Stanton's career high, set in 2012 and matched in '14, and came in the sixth inning of the Marlins' 3-2
WASHINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton continued his dominant stretch at the plate Monday night with his 37th home run -- this one coming off Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
The long ball tied Stanton's career high, set in 2012 and matched in '14, and came in the sixth inning of the Marlins' 3-2 loss at Nationals Park and tied the contest at 2. The homer also extended Stanton's Majors-leading lead over Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge, who has 35.
"If he's on the field and he stays on the field, he's going to hit 40 to 50 every year," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Any time he's been cut short has been really because of some little, weird injury."
Stanton, who is hitting .277, is just five home runs shy of the Marlins' season record set by Gary Sheffield in 1996.
Scherzer, who entered Monday with the second-lowest ERA in the Major Leagues (2.21), has generated a high spin rate on his four-seam fastball this year, a 2,497-rpm average according to Statcast™. The right-hander's four-seamer to Stanton was 2,658 rpm and 96 mph. That's the highest spin on a four-seamer Stanton has hit for a homer since Statcast™ started in 2015. It's also the seventh-highest spin rate on a four-seamer hit for a homer by any player this year, and the second-highest off Scherzer.
Before Stanton's sixth-inning dinger, he was hitting 3-for-14 (.214) with one home run in his career vs. Scherzer. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound right fielder was 8-for-37 (.216) this season vs. the Nationals with one home run, which came June 19 at Marlins Park.
Stanton has accounted for 27.6 percent of Miami's 134 home runs this season. The Marlins are dealing with an array of injuries, including Justin Bour (oblique), who has the third-most home runs on the team (21). Stanton has done his best to keep the offense moving despite the injuries, having had a hand in the Marlins winning seven of their past 12. He's knocked four homers in the past four games alone, and Miami is hopeful he'll keep up the pace.
Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.