The Yankees’ offense is spiraling towards an historic low point. Saturday night’s 7-3 loss to the Red Sox at the Stadium was further evidence of that.
No player in their lineup is scuffling more than Giancarlo Stanton. The former NL MVP, who was 0-for-4 Saturday night with two strikeouts, has looked lost since returning to the active roster from the injured list on May 27.
The Yankees slugger is now 2-for-23 since coming back after the quadriceps injury that knocked him out, and the boos from the home crowd are growing louder with each at bat.
The boos, of course, are nothing new to Stanton, who has spent most of his career in New York as a target for Yankees fans’ frustrations.
But there’s tangible evidence that, as Stanton goes, so goes the Yankees offense, which means it’s imperative for them to get him going somehow.
In his first 15 games this season, Stanton struggled with a .158 batting average and the Yankees went 6-9 during that stretch.
Then the perpetually streaky Stanton got on one of those scalding runs he has been prone to find, batting .378 in the next 18 games. The Yankees went 12-6 during that stretch.
In the past seven games, though, Stanton’s average has dipped below .100 and the Yankees are 2-5 in that span.
“[He’s] struggling to get kind of locked in up there,’’ manager Aaron Boone said after the loss, the Yankees’ third in a row and ninth in the past 12 games. “I thought [Friday] night he had some good at bats, hit the ball hard to third got the base hit that he smoked to left and [then] worked the walk.
“But he’s kind of searching to find it. Hopefully, as he gets more consistent reps here he’ll lock it in.’’
If he doesn’t, this could get uglier for the Yankees’ anemic offense.
“He’s an impact hitter, no two ways about it,’’ Boone said. “So when he’s going, obviously he brings an on-base element and has tremendous power. He’s a run-producer. We know that if we get him going, that’s a big cog in this lineup.’’
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a former player, sympathized with Stanton’s struggles.
“It’s hard as a player when you go on the IL and then come back and try to find your rhythm at the big-league level, but he’s done it before,’’ Cora said. “He’s a great hitter, a good player. He can turn it around right away. It’s not that we feel confident pitching to him right now. We’ve got to be very cautious, because he’ll get hot again.’’