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. 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.
Gohara (1-1, 6.30 ERA) is queued up for a rematch with Scherzer (14-6, 2.59) and the Nationals in the opener of a three-game series at SunTrust Park. Washington (90-59) has clinched the National League East title for the fourth time in six years. Atlanta (67-81) was mathematically eliminated from playoff consideration after its Sunday loss to the New York Mets.
Home run number 55 was one of those shots that only Giancarlo Stanton, maybe, in the whole of professional baseball can hit. Stanton is hitting with the certainty of a man closing in on a record. Only five players have ever hit the 60-home-run mark in a single season: Babe Ruth in 1927, Roger Maris in 1961, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds.