NEW YORK -- As Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, the timing is bad.
Boone was talking about Giancarlo Stanton's timing at the plate, about his toe tap and getting his mechanics right. But he could just as easily have meant the timing in the season, because it certainly hasn't helped that one of the worst weeks of Stanton's Major League career has come in his first week playing at home as a Yankee.
The numbers are ugly, with just three hits in 28 at-bats in six games since Tuesday. Worse yet, Stanton struck out 16 times during his lost week, each time hearing boos from the demanding Yankee Stadium fans. Even worse, he bookended the week with the first two five-strikeout games of his career, one in the Yankees' home opener and the second in Sunday's 8-7, 12-inning loss to the Orioles.
"You've just got to look at it as a bad week," Stanton said. "The season's much longer than a week."
That's true, and Stanton's week also included a long home run in last Wednesday's Yankees win over the Rays. He also hit two impressive homers on Opening Day in Toronto.
On the other hand, Stanton became just the third player in the past 110 years to have two five-strikeout games in the same season, let alone in the same week. Deron Johnson had two a month apart for the Reds in 1964, and Ray Lankford had three for the Cardinals in 1998.
Until Stanton, no one had two in one homestand. Certainly, no one who had been named the National League Most Valuable Player Award winner just months before had done it.
Stanton didn't blame the fans for booing him.
"They're not going to cheer," he said. "What do you expect? I'll figure it out. I'll get to the video, figure it out."
Stanton's manager and teammates expressed confidence he will.
"I really believe it's as simple as [timing]," Boone said. "Once he gets that synced, he'll take off. I think in time, he'll be fine. He's too good a player. Before long, it'll be an old story."
"I mean, he was the MVP last year," reliever Adam Warren said. "Us in the clubhouse, we're not worried about him."