If there ever was a time to awake the bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez, it is against the Yankees' biggest rival.
It obviously wasn't the biggest storyline of Wednesday night's brawl-filled fiasco at Fenway Park, but maybe it is the intensity of the rivalry that has sparked some offense from the Yanks' key power hitters.
Both sluggers entered the series in major slumps. However, it wasn't something that the two were utterly concerned with. For example, general manager Brian Cashman said the way Stanton is handling the media's bombardment of questions shows he isn't worried in the slightest.
"He's handling it with you well, in terms of how he's addressing it with the press," Cashman told ESPN's Coley Harvey. "So I don't think it's affecting him in a poor way, that way, outside of as a competitor and wanting to succeed every time. That's something obviously that, like any competitor, he wrestles with."
Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames "isn't pressing" over Sanchez either. He feels the young catcher needs to take a breather at the plate, and let his natural hitting abilities get him through at-bats.
"I think he's just got to relax a little bit," Thames told The Post's Dan Martin. "I know the numbers aren't there, but the work is there. He looks a little bit rushed. Instead of relaxing and letting the game come to him, he's trying to do too much to be more productive and you get a little jumpy. That's probably why he's not walking."
Patience is a virtue, and it certainly came through last night for both hitters.
Sanchez, who was riding a 1-for-33 streak heading into the game, saw two homers fly over the Green Monster in left field in a 3-for-5, 4 RBI night. Stanton also had a 3-for-5 game with a triple and three RBI, making him 5-for-9 over this series.
"I was making contact at the plate and not getting results," Sanchez said after the game. "Tonight, I got the results I wanted."
Stanton is hoping to keep this trend going to bust out of his early-season slump. He knows the expectation hovering over his head, but blocking out the "outside noise" and focusing on each game at a time has always been his mindset.
"Just watch film, settle down, make sure I'm not trying too hard and trying to do too much, which could subconsciously creep in, no matter what," he said. "That's the main thing, just get a good pitch to hit and don't worry about the outside noise."
This isn't the first time these two players have struggled early on. Cashman recalled Sanchez struggling in Spring Training back in 2016, and it took him awhile to bounce back. He also knows Stanton has seen slumps, but when he's hot, people immediately forget he was struggling in the first place.
"He's gone through these stretches, and when he goes through them, from all indication from anybody that's been associated with him says, it's a pretty rough thing to watch while it's happening," Cashman said. "And then he pops through it and gets back on track."
Aaron Judge, on the other hand, is enjoying a hot start to the season. After going 5-for-8 in the first two games of the three-game set, Judge has his season average up to .348 with three homers.
Much of the Yankees' offensive success rides on these three hitters being hot at the same time. If last night was indicative of anything other than an awakening of the gritty Yanks-Sox rivalry, it is the Yankees' three-headed monster may be finally coming out of its cage.