MIAMI -- After two games of watching Giancarlo Stanton showcase his National League MVP Award candidacy before their eyes, the Mets have decided as a coaching staff not to let Stanton beat them. Manager Terry Collins, who tends to lavish praise upon Stanton every trip to Miami, said he will not shy away from intentionally walking the Marlins outfielder if he comes to bat with the game on the line.
"He's on a rampage right now," Collins said, "and I'm not sure how you go about stopping him."
Over the Mets' first two games in Miami, Stanton was 3-for-8 with two homers, a double, three RBIs and an intentional walk -- numbers that only tell a portion of the story. He also sent three balls to Marlins Park's warning track, prompting Collins to conclude that the NL MVP candidate is "locked in" right now.
Stanton entered Wednesday's play leading the NL in home runs, RBIs, walks, on-base percentage, slugging and total bases, among other categories. That puts him in what appears to be a two-man MVP race with Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
"He's dangerous," said Tuesday's pitcher Jon Niese. "It just seems like, for me anyway, everywhere I pitch him he just hits it. He's a special talent."
Though the Mets will not go as far as giving Stanton the full Barry Bonds treatment, walking him at every opportunity, they won't hesitate to do so with the game on the line. If Stanton comes to the plate late in a game as the potential tying or go-ahead run, for example, Collins said he would not hesitate to put him on base.
"You deal with the argument after the game's over," Collins said, understanding that some pitchers may not agree with his strategy. "In those situations, I don't care how competitive you are. Certain guys, you're not going to let beat you."