The Toronto Blue Jays entered the weekend on an eight-game winning streak, but the concern was that the next 10 games were against very good AL East teams.
Sunday’s 13-5 romp over the Baltimore Orioles swept them out of town and left the Jays tying their franchise record with 11 straight wins. The starting pitching has been good. The bullpen has been fantastic. The offense has been on point. There are several players worthy of praise for this Jays turnaround, and one of this teams top performers during this streak is Edwin Encarnacion.
The veteran was having a good season prior to this streak, but he has caught fire over the past 11 games. How about 14 hits during the streak, six of them doubles, four homers, and a dozen RBIs? Wow — impressive.
It’s amazing to think that a few years back, several teams gave up on EE, including the Jays. There was a stretch in 2010 where the Jays had EE on their team but put him on waivers, where he was claimed by the Oakland Athletics. Three weeks later, the A’s had given up on him and cut him loose, and two weeks after that he was once again in Toronto.
This was all on the heels of EE escaping a massive injury as a firecracker smacked him in his forehead and exploded around his mouth, leaving first and second degree burns on his face. Yikes. Thankfully he recovered and has developed into the wonderful hitter he is now.
Over this streak, Encarnacion has been hammering any off-speed pitch that didn’t get located properly, and he and Adam Lind are providing a major punch in the middle of the Jays lineup. Slugger Jose Bautista has two huge dingers in this streak, but he has struggled mightily with just five other hits (one double, five singles) other than that.
Despite J-Bau struggling, the Jays are still getting power production from the right side thanks to Encarnacion.
The 30-year old veteran is under contract for the next two seasons, so Jays fans can get excited that there is much more to still come from EE. The Jays were once only ahead of the putrid Houston Astros in the American League, but Encarnacion and company are now ahead of seven teams in the AL (and charging).
Canada is on fire with Blue Jays fever currently, and EE deserves a lot of credit for that.