Home runs don’t often land where Giancarlo Stanton launched his drought-breaking blast.
In vintage fashion, the Yankees slugger demolished a solo home run in the first inning of the team’s clash against the Cubs on Saturday afternoon in The Bronx to put the team up 1-0.
Stanton obliterated a 1-0 sinker from starter Drew Smyly in the top of the zone, sending it on its way with a 118.1 mph exit velocity.
The ball smacked off the outside of the Audi Club high up in the left-field stands, going an estimated 447 feet.
It’s the second-hardest ball Stanton has hit this year after he rocketed into a double play with a 118.3 mph exit velocity during a loss to the Mets on June 14.
And four innings later, he went deep again.
He picked a more usual spot in the fifth inning, clubbing a two-run homer to the short right-field porch to extend the Yankees’ lead to 6-1.
That one traveled just 322 feet with a 91.3 mph exit velocity but marked Stanton’s first multi-homer game of the season.
Perhaps it’s finally a sign Stanton is on the verge of breaking out of his prolonged slump.
Entering Saturday’s clash, Stanton had just one home run in his last eight games and just two in the previous 25 games he appeared in.
During that stretch, Stanton slashed .151/.240/.256 with a .495 OPS.
It has coincided with Aaron Judge’s injury absence, as the Yankees’ offense as a whole has largely gone quiet in a midseason malaise.
With Judge staying on the injured list for the foreseeable future, the Yankees are relying on Stanton to help carry the offense in his place and provide a needed power threat in the middle of the lineup.
Saturday’s homer was similar to the towering two-run blast he hit during the Yankees’ April 2 win over the Giants in the season-opening series.
That homer traveled 485 feet with a 117.8 mph exit velocity, smacking off the batter’s eye in center field.
Most importantly, it preceded Stanton’s best stretch this season.
In 11 games after that April 2 homer, Stanton slashed .279/.311/.558 with a .869 OPS and three homers.
Now, the Yankees hope another emphatic homer can serve as a catalyst once again.