Edwin Encarnacion may still have some love left for his former team, but he also had no problems pounding them into submission tonight.
The Cleveland Indians, thanks in large part to Edwin’s three hits and four runs batted in, beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 13-3. If you want to be optimistic in how you randomly chop up a string of games, the Tribe have now won two of their last three games and half of those wins have been absolute blowouts. There are other ways to look at it, but I choose this one.
Edwin’s dinger was his 20th of the season, marking the eighth time he has reached that magic number in his career. By hitting it against the Blue Jays, it also means that Edwin has homered against very team in the majors, per Sports Illustrated.
Edwin Encarnacion went deep tonight vs. his former club, the Blue Jays, and has now homered against all 30 MLB teams in his career pic.twitter.com/kGl0Xu3BGn— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 22, 2017
My personal favorite run came in the seventh on one of Edwin’s weaker hits of the evening. He blooped one in right field, but Bradley Zimmer — on second base following two straight walks — read it correctly and zipped around third on his way to home. Knowing that Jose Bautista is an old man with an even old man-er arm, scored without even sliding.
Edwin even tried to show off his wheels early in the game, or at least Mike Saurbaugh told him to do it, but he ended up out by a mile trying to score from first base.
Even before Zimmer hit, I was fine his performance. He’s a player that strikes out a lot, walks occasionally, hits home runs, and runs super fast. He did all of that tonight, besides hit something out of the ballpark. Having him lead off still doesn’t make much sense, but it’s been discussed ad nauseam — lineup construction doesn’t make that big of a difference.
This game wasn’t all Edwin, though. It just was at the time I started writing this recap before the Indians exploded for another eight runs in the seventh inning. Abe Almonte belted a home run and hit a triple that might have been a home run in a stadium with a short center field wall, although neither went 505 feet. Jose Ramirez doubled, Carlos Santana singled, Bradley Zimmer came up again and got his first hit of the game. It was a fun time for everyone not from Canada.
The Indians had a recap of the big inning with this impressive tweet:
Getting all this under the 140 character limit is art. https://t.co/75pmjKOMo1— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) July 22, 2017
The big team story of the day is hitting with runners in scoring position. The Indians of the last week didn’t do it at all. The Indians of July 21, 2017 did almost nothing but hit with runners in scoring position. Starting with Erik Gonzalez’s single to score Abe Almonte from third in the fifth inning, until Zimmer singled in the seventh to cap off the huge inning, the Indians were incredible with runners in all the right places.
This was the kind of game the Indians needed, and the kind of game a sold-out crowd needed to see. As with every game against the Blue Jays, there were a lot of off-color jerseys in the crowd, but I bet at least one left to buy a shiny new Jose Ramirez jersey after the game.
Oh yeah, I guess Trevor Bauer was there too.