Before shattering the Home Run Derby record with 61 home runs -- including 20 of the longest 21 round-trippers hit -- on Monday night, the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton was playing Home Run Derby: The Home Game over the last week, slugging a Major League-best five home runs in six games, with a Major League-leading 10 RBIs.
Stanton -- who was not selected to be an All-Star, but nevertheless participated in the annual slugging contest just two and a half hours from his high school alma mater (Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame) -- came into the All-Star Break hitting just .233, with 20 home runs and 50 RBIs, but over the last week, he's hit .444 (8-for-18) -- 13th in the Majors -- with five runs scored, an on-base percentage of .524 (11th in the Majors) and a slugging percentage of 1.333.
Stanton's 1.857 OPS was second in the big leagues, at 1.857. Stanton rattled off at least one base hit in each of his last six games, and hit four of his five home runs in consecutive at-bats, during back-to-back games at Citi Field against the New York Mets. Stanton went 3-for-4 with two home runs against the Mets on July 5, driving in five runs in a 5-2 win. His first two at-bats against the Mets on July 6 were solo shots off of Jacob deGrom, although the Marlins as a team couldn't muster any more offense, losing 4-2.
On July 9, Stanton rattled an eighth-inning single to center for the final tally in a 4-2 win over Cincinnati. The next day, Stanton slugged a 421-foot tater in the fifth inning -- a two-run shot -- to give Miami a 4-3 lead over the Reds in what would become a 7-3 win for the Fish.