Troy Tulowitzki went down on a very ugly play in the 2nd inning of the first game of the double header. Troy and Kevin Pillar got crossed up on a lazy fly between them, and collided awkwardly and painfully. It looked bad. Really bad. It wasn’t the initial contact that made it look so awful. It was Tulowitzki’s reaction a few moments later that was really scary. He went down like he was shot by a sniper, and really looked like he had a bad neck or back injury, or at least a concussion. He left the field under his own power, but was visibly woozy in the dugout, as he left for the clubhouse
Toronto Blue Jays
Tulo was replaced by Cliff Pennington and headed over to the hospital for X-Rays on his back, chest and hip. All X-Rays have come back negative (which is actually positive) and an MRI is scheduled for later today. He’s officially listed as day-to-day and there hasn’t been any mention of a concussion problem. With an off day scheduled for Monday, could we actually see Tulo back by Tuesday? That would obviously be amazing.
I actually did stay at a Holiday Inn Express this week in Boston, so I feel a little more comfortable than normal weighing in on his diagnosis. When I first saw him collapse to the field, a few beats after the contact, I was reminded of what they call a “stinger” in football. Ever seen one of those football plays where a guy gets a head-to-head hit and basically seizes to the ground? You’re convinced that the team will have to notify next of kin, and then the guy pops up and limps off the field. It’s an incredibly painful and scary nerve injury where the injured feels numb for a few seconds to a few minutes.
Some Blue Jays fans were quick to react and place blame (can you believe that?) and were suggesting that Kevin Pillar be drawn and quartered in Nathan Phillip Square. I mean, how dare he injure our new favourite player? And during a pennant run? However, a quick review of the video would show that this was actually Pillar’s ball and he appeared to be calling for it. The centre fielder’s job is to come as hard as he can and run through the ball. The infielders need to yield to avoid injury.
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The MRI results wont be known until tomorrow, so we’ll be holding our collective breath until then. But all information so far sounds positive, and I was very happy to not hear the concussion word mentioned. If we’re lucky, we’ll only need to witness the Goins-Pennington double play combo for a few more games. But can the team withstand an injury to a superstar and still play dominating baseball? Hopefully we won’t need to find out, but based on the way they were able to carry a struggling Tulo and a slumping Encarnacion, all signs point to yes.
Update: As I was getting ready to submit my post, Cliff Pennington just made the most amazing play to save 2 runs in the 8th inning. I take back anything bad I might have said or insinuated about Cliff.