The Giancarlo Stanton era in the Bronx started off well, as he hit a pair of homers on Opening Day against the Blue Jays. In the eight games since, he’s batting a meager .133 with one other homer and 14 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances.
Things did not improve on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles. The Yankees lost 8-7 in 12 innings. Stanton finished 0-for-7 with five strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .167 on the season. He’s now up to 20 strikeouts in 48 plate appearances, good for a 41.7 percent strikeout rate. The only batters who have struck out at a higher rate thus far are Ian Happ, C.J. Cron, Miguel Sano, and Paul DeJong.
Stanton also struck out five times in the Yankees’ 11-4 win over the Rays last Tuesday. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Stanton is the first player in the live ball era to have two games with zero hits and five strikeouts in the same season.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”