Giancarlo Stanton launched his first home run of 2022 in the fourth inning of Friday’s opener at Yankee Stadium, taking Red Sox ace Nathan Eovaldi deep for a solo job to right field. He hit the heck out of it too, exploding off his bat at an exit velocity of 116.3 mph.
However, Stanton also owes a great debt of gratitude to whoever designed Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch, allowing his screaming line drive to clear the fence by mere inches. In fact, the 358-foot bomb wouldn’t have been a home run anywhere else in the majors.
Stanton’s dinger, however short, will count as his fifth Opening Day homer and fourth as a Yankee. It was his third round-tripper in 30 lifetime at-bats against Eovaldi, who also yielded a first-inning blast to Anthony Rizzo to cut New York’s deficit to 3-2.
Though he may have caught a break this time, the former NL MVP doesn’t hit many cheapies. Giancarlo’s 35 homers a season ago traveled an average distance of 414 feet, which ranked 11th out of 132 qualified hitters in MLB.
Through seven innings in the Bronx, the Red Sox lead 4-3 in a rematch of last year’s American League Wild Card Game.