If the New York Yankees wind up making the postseason and enjoy a deep run, then the recently completed sweep of the blood-rival Red Sox in Fenway will be especially memorable. The same goes for the already-legendary performance of Yankee cloutsman Giancarlo Stanton over the course of those three games.
Please regard his Boston tee-off party:
All of that comes to an OPS of 2.032 for the series, and those 10 RBI in three games made for a bit of history:
Overall, he's just the second Yank to stack up 10 or more RBI against the Red Sox. Mickey Mantle also pulled off that feat in 1954, but he did it during a home series. Also note that this continues a trend of Stanton's Sox-slaying at Fenway since he became a Yankee via blockbuster trade prior to the 2017 season:
Giancarlo Stanton with Yankees at Fenway Park— New York Yankees Stats (@nyyankeesstats) September 27, 2021
.395/.451/.691 (1.142) in 91 PA with 7 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR and 21 RBI
That's the best OPS by any Yankee all-time at Fenway Park (min. 50 PA)
Overall across his entire career, Stanton has batted .287/.366/.532 against the Red Sox with 10 home runs in 48 games.
Circling back to the recent series in Boston, know that Stanton's outputs weren't just idle compiling. Much of what Stanton did from Friday through Sunday was of the clutch variety, and without his efforts the series and by extension the AL wild card race would look very different right now.
The first game of the series was the least dramatic of the bunch -- an 8-3 Yankees win -- but Stanton still managed to stand out. He went 3 for 5 in Friday's opener with five RBI and a homer off Nathan Eovaldi. There's a stat called Win Probability Added (WPA) which adds up how much a given player improves (or decreases) his team's chances of winning a game. In Friday's tilt, Stanton led all participants with a WPA of 0.131, which means he improved the Yanks' chances of taking the opener by 13.1 percent once all his positive and negative WPA events are added together.
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In the second game of the series, Stanton announced himself loudly in the late frames with an eighth-inning grand slam that turned a 2-1 Yankee deficit into a 5-2 Yankee lead:
That's 114.1 mph off the bat and 452 feet of distance -- typical Stanton, in other words. He also added a single and a walk earlier in the contest, and his WPA for the second game was a whopping 0.678, which again led all comers.
Was he done? No, he was not done. In the series finale on Sunday evening, Stanton stretched a perilous 4-3 lead to a much more comfy 6-3 advantage with a two-run shot, again in the eighth inning:
Just like the man said, that one gave Stanton three homers and 10 RBI for the weekend (the Red Sox scored just nine runs in the three-game series). Stanton's WPA for the game was 0.131, which is the same figure he put up in the series opener. Aaron Judge topped him in WPA for Sunday's game, but no one moved the needle like Stanton did across the entire series -- not even close. Add it all up, and Stanton had a WAP of .940 for the series, which means his production and sense of the moment were by themselves responsible for almost a full win over the course of those three games. That's the quintessence of clutch.
Stanton overall in this, his age-31 season is batting .277/.359/.520 (139 OPS+) with 34 home runs in 133 games. After mostly lost seasons in 2019 and 2020 this marks a welcome return to productivity and general durability for Stanton. Without that, the Yankees probably aren't in playoff position right now. The same goes for Stanton's timely exploits in Boston this past weekend.