The Toronto Blue Jays notched their second win in a row last night in Beantown, beating the Boston Red Sox by doing something that the team has been unable to do much of the season: avoid injuries to its players.
After starter JA Happ‘s broken foot took him out for the rest of the reason, there were serious concerns that the Blue Jays fielders would step out on the wet grass–the game was rain delayed for over an hour–and simultaneously sprain all of their ankles from jogging out into the field, requiring extensive DL paperwork that would delay the game further. Fortunately, the Blue Jays dodged that bullet. Miraculously, both DL returnees, JP Arencibia & Brett Lawrie, made it through the entire nine innings at their positions, with Lawrie being able to take a couple of sharp grounders in the fifth inning and successfully making the throw to first base without tearing all of the muscles in his torso.
The game was not without its scares, however. Blue Jays nation collective held their breath in the third inning as the team’s top slugger, Edwin Encarnacion, homered for the 38th time this season off lefty Felix Doubront. It was unclear immediately–since everyone was probably watching the ball go out of the park–whether the combined force of the bat hitting the ball and the momentum of Encarnacion’s follow-through had shattered the slugger’s wrist into several pieces. Only when Encarnacion successfully completed that treacherous home run trot and returned to the dugout with high-fives did Blue Jays fans exhale, knowing that he will go on to hit another day.
This unprecedented streak of good health even extended to the mound, where sophomore starter Henderson Alvarez pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just two runs on four hits, a pair of walks and a lone strikeout, plus he successfully avoided the need to be scheduled for Tommy John surgery immediately after the game. Blue Jays manager John Farrell was delighted that Alvarez only needed to be removed from the game with some tightness in his tricep, something that isn’t considered serious enough to be an official injury–at least until the next time when Alvarez aggravates it and lands on the DL.
As of this writing, it has now been nearly 24 hours since the Blue Jays had its last season-ending injury to a player. The team will surely look to carry this impressive streak, which is arguably their crowning achievement in 2012, tonight as they look for their third win in a row.