Yankees vs. Red Sox Game 1: Giancarlo Stanton roasted by New York tabloids after striking out four times

Friday night, the Yankees opened their ALDS matchup with the Red Sox with a 5-4 loss (box score) in Game 1 at Fenway Park. The Yankees were down 5-0 after three innings before their late-inning comeback attempt fell just short.

The Yankees dropped Game 1 for several reasons, most notably starter J.A. Happ allowing five runs in two innings and the offense going 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. They turned a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the seventh inning into only one run, and that run scored when Luke Voit barely beat out a potential inning-ending double play.

The goat on offense -- that's the goat, not the G.O.A.T. -- was cleanup hitter Giancarlo Stanton, who went 1 for 5 with four strikeouts. He did have a hit as part of the team's two-run sixth inning rally, but his other four at-bats weren't good:

  • First at-bat: Eight-pitch strikeout with a runner on first and two outs in the first.
  • Second at-bat: Three-pitch strikeout with a runner on first and no outs in the fourth.
  • Third at-bat: Two-pitch single to center with a runner on first and one out in the sixth.
  • Fourth at-bat: Five-pitch strikeout with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh.
  • Fifth at-bat: Three-pitch strikeout with the bases empty and one out in the ninth.

Stanton's fourth at-bat was by far the most damaging. If he reaches base there to bring a run home and keep the line moving, the win probability swing is more than 15 percent in the Yankees' favor. That's huge. 

Stanton's fifth at-bat was the ugliest, however. Craig Kimbrel worked him over on three pitches. Stanton never took the bat off his shoulders and buckled his knees on the strike-three breaking ball. A visual:

craig-kimbrel-giancarlo-stanton.jpg
Kimbrel locked up Stanton with a strike three breaking ball in ALDS Game 1. MLB.com screen grab

"I wasn't able to get it done. I should have put the ball in play," Stanton said to reporters, including NJ.com's Randy Miller, following Game 1. "I had pitches to hit in the zone that I fouled off. I didn't get to them ... You can't give them too many strikes in the zone like that or you're going to end up having a game like I did."

Predictably, Stanton's four-strikeout Game 1 drew the ire of the New York tabloids Saturday morning. Here's a sampling of the back pages:

Yeah, that'll happen when strike out four times against the Red Sox in the postseason. Through two postseason games (Wild Card Game and ALDS Game 1), Stanton is 2 for 8 with a home run, a walk, and five strikeouts. This is his first taste of October baseball. The Marlins never reached the postseason during Stanton's eight years in Miami.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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