Giancarlo Stanton left no doubt. The Yankees slugger hit the ball so hard—the hardest hit ball in baseball this season—that it slammed into the sign in front of the second deck and nearly hit the ground. The Yankees had one of a season-high six home runs on Saturday night behind Jordan Montgomery’s seven scoreless innings as they thrashed the Cubs 8-0 at the stadium.
“I mean, we all look at each other and when he comes back in the dugout I think ‘You’re weird,’ that’s all I can say,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
Aaron Judge scored two home runs for a major-league-leading 24 homers in the season (no one else has breached the 18-homer mark), which gives him the pace to score the franchise’s 66 home runs this season.
Gleber Torres, Anthony Rizzo and Jose Trevino each hit a homer. Montgomery began the Yankees’ ninth shutout of the season and the Yankees secured their 15th series win over the season. He maintained the best record in baseball at 43-16.
Montgomery scattered five hits and was stuck in five. Lacking run support and not his quality, he earned his second win of the season, and made his second scoreless start of the season. Most importantly for the Yankees, whose bullpen has been taxed by early exits from Nestor Cortés and Gerrit Cole this week and in a 13-innings game on Friday, Montgomery played seven innings.
The Yankees’ lefty had all of his pitches working on Saturdays. He got 17 swing-and-misses, five of which were on his curveball.
He also got the benefit of a lot of run support.
“It’s definitely fun to see them barrel down the ball,” Montgomery said of the Yankees’ sluggers.
Montgomery’s Cubs counterpart, Matt Swarmer, didn’t have a night out and it started with a bang.
Swarmer started the judge with fastball 90 mph. He tried to land the exact same pitch by a Yankees slugger and saw it accelerate to 107 mph with the bat and land on left field seats.
The judge struck on his second night in the fifth. It was his 21st career multi-home run game and fifth game of the season.
“Unreal. Unreal. It’s fun to watch,” Stanton said of Judge Season. “We all have even the best seat in the house, he’ll continue. We all laugh the same way.”
The Yankees bats were just heating up.
In his second bat of the night, in the fourth inning, Stanton smashed a swarmer slider. It hit 119.8 mph right off the bat. According to Statcast, it was the hardest hit among the majors this season and was hit 120.3 mph by Stanton in Baltimore on September 16, 2021. The Yankees scored their first six on homers.
Swarmer played five innings and six of the seven hits he allowed were homers. He did not run a batsman and hit four boundaries.
But no one was bigger than Stanton. This is what happens whenever he catches someone. With his hits on Saturday Night, having had 17 hits in the major leagues with an exhaust velocity of 119.8 since the start of the Stadcast era (2015), Stanton owns 14 of them.
“It is fun watching him grind and his first bat was so good. Just gets the ball, 108 more with the bat [Cubs center fielder Christopher] Morrell made a good defensive play on the fence,” Boone said of Stanton’s bat in the first innings. “But it’s just watching his process and just watching him go out and wait for what he’s looking for and finally get it and then it’s the same thing. Same thing to me at-bat.” felt the quality [the first time up] And next time, man, he hit it like only G can.”