For most right-handed hitters, Fenway Park is a hitter’s paradise. The Green Monster, tall or not, makes a pull-hitter salivate at the mere thought of making the tin rattle or putting one into flight over it and onto Lansdowne Street.
That hasn’t always been the case for Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
Coming into this week’s series against the Red Sox, Fenway Park had been somewhat frustrating for the Blue Jays first baseman. Prior to Tuesday, Encarnacion had put up a respectable .258/.364/.393, but the power has always eluded him under the Red Sox roof as Edwin has only been able to muster 2 doubles and 5 home runs in 99 at-bats.
You’ll notice I’ve continued to put those numbers in the past tense right? Encarnacion figured it out in a big way on Tuesday.
After grounding out in the first inning, Encarnacion jumped all over the next opportunity and launched a 2-2 change-up over the monster for a two-run shot off of Red Sox southpaw Felix Doubront. That bomb started a chain reaction.
In his next nine at bats over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, Encarnacion proceeded to launch 3 more balls over the green monster, driving in 7 runs of the Blue Jays 13 runs in the process. Back-to-back games with two dingers is definitely something to write home about.
When all was said and done, Encarnacion had raised his slash-line at Fenway Park to .273/.368/.566. His home run total at Fenway jumped from 5 to 9 and he now has driven in 24 runs.Those numbers are much more in line with his career norms, but this type of run, even if just over the course of two games, is fun to watch and sparks amazement with fans and pundits alike.
It’s also not lost on the player either, who told Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, “It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had before so I’m going to enjoy the enjoy the moment.”
The games foretell a future that possibly holds another American League Player of the Week honor for Edwin. It also predicts that Jon Lester isn’t likely to mess around with Encarnacion at all on Thursday afternoon, when the two teams wrap up their series.
When a player is swinging a bat like this, the only way to cool him off is to give him nothing to hit.