Stanton makes impact with glove, arm
WASHINGTON — Giancarlo Stanton is doing damage with more than just his lethal bat. In Miami’s 8-5 win over the Nationals on Wednesday night, Stanton made a major difference with his glove.
Three defensive gems helped the Marlins prevail in a game they watched a four-run lead disappear.
Stanton’s improved all-around play has been evident all season. On Wednesday night, he showed his range and athleticism as well as his throwing arm.
In the second inning, Stanton doubled-up Ian Desmond at first base after making a running catch into the gap in right-center to snare Kevin Frandsen’s liner. Desmond was on his way to second when he had to retreat, only to have Stanton’s throw reach first baseman Garrett Jones in time for the out.
Stanton came through in the field again in the sixth inning. With Miami clinging to a 4-3 lead, the Nationals had the bases loaded for Anthony Rendon, who ripped a liner to deep right field. Stanton drifted to the warning track and made another terrific play.
Washington may have won the game in the ninth inning if not for Stanton’s arm coming to the rescue yet again.
Wilson Ramos led off with a single down the line in right field. Stanton ranged over, and because of his angle, Ramos gambled and tried to stretch the play to a double.
Despite his momentum taking him away from second base, Stanton was able to make a strong, accurate throw to Adeiny Hechavarria, who tagged out Ramos.
If not for that play, Ramos would have been on second with no outs in the ninth inning in a tie game.
Stanton now has four outfield assists, which is tied for the most by any outfielder in the National League.
With 456 1/3 innings in right field, Stanton has played in the fourth highest amount of innings in the NL.
The only outfielders with more than four assists this year are Cleveland’s Michael Brantley (six) and Toronto’s Melky Cabrera (five).
– Joe Frisaro