Preview: Stanton looking to get on a roll as Marlins face Mets in Game 2 of 3-game series
TV: FOX SPORTS FLORIDA
TIME: COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET
MIAMI — Start up the Giancarlo Stanton MVP talk once again.
After hitting 12 homers in July and 18 in August, the Miami Marlins star cooled off in his first 15 September games, batting just .170 with three long balls and a .660 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Things got so bad that the slugger asked for Sunday off, a step he rarely takes.
On Monday, however, Stanton hit his major-league-leading 55th homer of the season, and he also drove in four runs in Miami’s 13-1 win over the New York Mets.
On Tuesday night, when the teams meet for the second game of a three-game series, Stanton will try to continue to put up numbers that could make him the first Most Valuable Player in Marlins history.
Stanton, though, is just happy that the club is back at home for the first time since Sept. 6.
“It feels good,” Stanton said. “It feels like we’ve been on the road for three weeks. It’s good to get a comfortable feel.”
Stanton is part of a Marlins offense that has slugged 177 homers this year, fourth most in franchise history. Their third-place number was 182, which happened in 2006.
Another key cog for the Miami offense is Marcell Ozuna, who went 4-for-5 with two RBIs on Monday, hitting his 34th homer of the season.
Miami’s Dee Gordon also had four hits and two RBIs on Monday. Gordon hit his eighth triple, stole his 55th base and is hitting .400 the past 23 games.
Stanton’s fourth-inning homer traveled 455 feet and was clocked at 114 mph.
After not going deep since Sept. 9, Stanton has now launched the most homers by a National League player since Ryan Howard hit 58 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006.
Stanton also has 117 RBIs, four short of tying Preston Wilson, who set the franchise record in 2000.
On Tuesday, the Marlins will start right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3, 4.35 ERA) against Mets right-hander Seth Lugo (6-5, 5.21).
Looking for his first major league win since 2015, Despaigne has made 15 appearances this year, including five starts. His WHIP is high at 1.500, mostly due to a poor walk rate (5.0 per nine innings). Against the Mets, he is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in four career appearances, including two starts.
Lugo has cut his walks down from 3.0 per nine innings as a rookie last year to 2.5 this season. However, after allowing just 6.9 hits per nine last year, his rate is up to 10.6 this year.
Lugo is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four career games against the Marlins, including three starts. In his only appearance against Miami this year, Lugo earned a 6-3 win on June 29, allowing three runs (two earned) in six innings.
Mets manager Terry Collins, who has seen his club endure multiple injuries this season, especially to the pitching staff, hopes Lugo can provide some stability.
“This is the big leagues,” Collins said. “You have to grind it out.”
Stanton, now rested, certainly feels the same way.