Is there a more arrogant phrase in the entire sports universe than “true Yankees moment?”
To be fair, though? You sure as heck know it when you witness one.
Welcome to the club, Giancarlo Stanton.
With his booming, walk-off, two-run, ninth-inning homer Wednesday night, the first-year Yankee removed the shackles of his predictably challenging transition from the irrelevant Marlins.
With Stanton’s 453-foot blast to left-center field off Seattle’s Ryan Cook, the Yankees completed a comeback from a five-run deficit, registering a 7-5 victory over the Mariners in thrilling fashion at Yankee Stadium, this ridiculously impressive season reaching yet another level of excellence.
And Stanton, who has navigated this workplace delicately, like a waiter balancing three plates through a crowded kitchen, reacted with sheer jubilation — admiring the ball’s 118-mph exit velocity, gliding around the bases as he screamed, then winding up three times as he threw his batting helmet in the air and jumping onto home plate to receive his group hug and Gatorade shower.
“That’s what you always want, man,” a still-giddy Stanton said at his locker afterward. “You help your team win, you’ve got your whole team waiting for you. It’s what you always want.”
When The Post explained the concept of a “true Yankees moment” to Stanton and informed him that he had appeared to just register his, the outfielder smiled and said, “Cool. I’m part of it now.”
“It was bound to happen at some point, him hitting a walk-off homer,” Aaron Judge said of his fellow behemoth. “That’s what he does. In a big situation, he always comes through for us.”
Well … not so much, actually. Stanton hadn’t been terrible in his maiden pinstriped voyage, yet his .252/.325/.493 slash line fell well below the high standard he set, most notably last year when he won National League MVP honors. In particular, he had struggled at home, against right-handers and in pressure situations.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night. When the Mariners jumped out to a 5-0 lead against rookie Jonathan Loaisiga and struggling southpaw Chasen Shreve, “It kind of looked like a ho-hum, just gonna be one of those” nights, Aaron Boone said — and really, the Yankees’ offense had slowed down as of late. Yet Judge brought two runs home with a fifth-inning single (the Yankees got some help from a Denard Span error; a Didi Gregorius sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 5-3; and a two-run, eighth-inning bomb by another slumping slugger, Gary Sanchez, wiped out the deficit altogether, tying the game at 5-5).
Gregorius slashed a two-out single to right field in the ninth off Cook, bringing up Stanton — against a right-hander, at home, in a pressure situation. With an out, the game would go into extra innings.
Stanton fell behind 0-and-2 and you’re forgiven if you wagered on him recording his 99th strikeout in 274 at-bats. Instead, Cook tried to execute a slider that didn’t slide enough, and Stanton destroyed it for his 18th homer, tying Judge for the team lead.
“You’re battling there,” Stanton said. “[There’s a] chance he could spike a few. But if he leaves one there, you’ve got to put the barrel on it.”
That goes down as a “barrel,” to use the new-age baseball lingo. It goes down as a huge Yankees victory and a turning point for Stanton. That’s not to say that he’s guaranteed smooth sailing from here. Yet no one can point to him and accuse him of never coming through in a big spot with his new team.
“I’m not worried about me personally,” Stanton said. “For the way our team battled back, it’s huge I could step up in that moment. Me, I’ll be fine.”
“I was never worried [about Stanton],” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “He has so much talent. In any given moment, he’s just going to be what he can be, an excellent ballplayer.”
On June 20, in Game 71, Giancarlo Stanton finally was what he could be. No one here is likely to forget it, Stanton, now a knighted true Yankee, most of all.
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