Like most of Giancarlo Stanton‘s home runs, it was a no-doubter. Swing and stare. This one came off an 0-1 slider from Madison Bumgarner in the bottom of the third inning at Marlins Park on Tuesday, smoked at 107 mph and delivered at an appropriate launch angle. It was the sixth consecutive game with a home run for Stanton, his 11th in 12 games, his 18th since the All-Star break and his 23rd in his past 35 games. Slice and dice the numbers any way you want: The dude is on fire.

With this stretch of power hitting, Stanton has become the talk of baseball. The first half and then the Home Run Derby might have belonged to New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, but Stanton is making us lock in on the at-bats for a team four games below .500. For those of us old enough to remember, it sends us back to the joyful summer of 1998, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased down Roger Maris — or maybe the less joyful march of Barry Bonds in 2001.

Joe Posnanski had the best description I’ve seen of Stanton in this column: “Every single thing about Giancarlo Stanton says star, from his Hollywood name to his perfect physique to the unnatural way baseballs jump off his bat. He has this unique charisma; he blends ‘intimidating’ with ‘teddy bear,’ like no one I can remember.”

That’s also a pretty apt description for both McGwire and Sosa in that magical summer, before public opinion turned against them years later after steroid scandals and not talking about the past. Stanton’s remarkable 35-game stretch has been matched or surpassed by only three players: Sosa had 25 in 1998, Bonds had 24 in 2001 and McGwire had 23 in 1999. Just to compare: