Giancarlo Stanton's home run drought finally ended on Saturday night. Boy did it.
In his 18th game (he actually needed 20 games to start last season, but who's counting?) the Miami Marlins large and powerful right fielder finally hit his jack of the first season. And yes, like all Stanton homers, it was of the epic, tape-measure variety, and I think an argument could be made that it was the most impressive big fly of the 93 he's hit so far in his career.
Just to give you a little perspective of how epic it was, I'll remind you of the grand slam he hit off Jamie Moyer last May that actually damaged a scoreboard sitting 438 or thereabouts feet down the left field line. When Stanton connected off Chicago Cubs left-hander Travis Wood this time around, the ball actually cleared that same scoreboard, and cleared last season's point of contact by a substantial margin.
There's no question it was a monster shot, but there seems to be some debate over how far this home run actually traveled. Here's the first estimation, courtesy of MLB.com's Joe Frisaro:
#Marlins Estimated distance of Giancarlo Stanton's first home run: 472'
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) April 27, 2013
Here's another from ESPN:
Giancarlo Stanton's first HR of the season was calculated to have traveled a distance of 440 feet
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 28, 2013
Admittedly, I'm not real good at estimating home run distances. I'm sure I could figure it out eventually if I studied the ballparks a little harder and learned a few more math equations, but for now I'd have to say the 472 estimate sounds closer to realistic. This one had to have gone at least 25-30 feet farther than the famous scoreboard crusher, so 470ish seems about right to me.
As for how hard the ball was hit, ESPN's Hit Tracker lists it as the fourth hardest hit ball during April at 116.6 mph. Only Kyle Blanks, Justin Upton and Bryce Harper rated ahead of him.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, despite the fact that Stanton's home run was absolutely creamed and traveled a farther distance than the epic grand slam, it still counted for three less runs. A solo home run from Miguel Olivo was the only other offense they could muster, and they managed to drop their third straight decision to the Cubs, 3-2.
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