Juan Soto ignites ‘M-V-P!’ chants at Yankee Stadium just 51 games into the season

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Juan Soto hits the ball for a home run

Fifty-one games into the season, Juan Soto is inspiring chants of “M-V-P!” at Yankee Stadium. “Way too early,” Soto said after hitting two homers in a game for the second time during the homestand, leading the Yankees to a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night, ending New York’s first two-game losing streak in three weeks.

Soto hit a full-count sinker into the visitors’ bullpen in the third inning for a two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. The 414-foot drive off Bryce Miller hit the back wall on a bounce.

In the sixth inning, Soto hit another sinker on Miller’s first pitch, sending a 369-foot shot into the left-field stands. This sparked the crowd of 40,224 to chant “M-V-P!” “I love when the Bronx gets behind our guys,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Obviously showing their appreciation for him.”

Juan Soto gets high five from teammates

In his first season with the Yankees after being traded from San Diego, Soto is hitting .313 with 13 homers, 40 RBIs, and a .978 OPS. The 25-year-old Dominican frequently acknowledges the fans’ admiration from the right-field seats.

“I just got to turn around and they go crazy,” he said. “I know it’s a lot of Dominicans. They all want me to say hi. I tried to say hi to everybody, but I got to be focused in the game, too.”

Soto, who can become a free agent after the World Series, has helped boost the Yankees to an AL-best 34-17 record. “I’m enjoying every part of it,” he said. “You never know how long this will last, so you try to enjoy every second. I just soak it all in.”

Judge, the 2022 AL MVP, loves hearing Soto get a similar fan response to what the Yankees captain has long received.

“It gives me chills,” Judge said. “The fans are definitely loving the show he’s putting on.” Judge hit an opposite-field, two-run homer to right in the first off Miller and is batting .268 with 14 homers — 11 since late April — and 34 RBIs.

Judge credits Soto with boosting the entire batting order. “It’s entertaining. It’s fun to watch. It gives everybody behind him a good look at all the pitcher’s pitches, what he’s trying to do that day,” Judge said.

Juan Soto celebrates after hitting 2 home runs

After Nestor Cortes pitched five scoreless innings, Luke Weaver allowed a three-run homer to Cal Raleigh that cut the lead to 5-3 in the eighth. Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer in the bottom half.

Entertaining the crowd, Judge, Soto, and Verdugo encouraged different sections of the bleachers to cheer louder during an eighth-inning pitching change.

“It’s just a fun way to engage the crowd,” Judge said. “Get them excited, they just want to cheer.” Soto has hit two homers in a game 19 times before but has never hit three. He came to bat with the bases loaded in the seventh against Cody Bolton but struck out on three big swings.

“I think I swung too hard,” Soto said. “I got too excited.” He leaves the stadium with the fans’ cheers echoing in his head.

“At the end of the day, they’re part of the game, they’re part of the team,” he said. “They put pressure on the other team. And when they cheer like that, the other team feels the pressure.”


By James Brown

A passionate and driven individual currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) degree in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Born on 06 February, hails from Raipur, where their journey into the world of technology and creativity began.

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