The Blue Jays are beginning to pick up a head of steam, with Friday's 4-1 win versus the Angels representing their fourth in five games. The victory helped them maintain their slim hold on the final wild card spot in the AL, but it wasn't all good news on the night.
Jordan Romano was forced to leave the game in the ninth inning, due to lower back discomfort. Brought in to protect a three-run lead, he battled through his discomfort to get the first two outs before he had to exit.
Taking a cautious approach
As Blue Jays manager John Schneider told the media postgame, Romano's back locked up on him. As such, the decision was made to play it safe.
This was understandable, given this is the second time the 30-year-old has dealt with this issue. He recently had to leave the All-Star Game in Seattle, due to the same problem.
Given the reoccurrence of the back tightness, there is a possibility Romano could have to spend time on the injured list. As per Keegan Matheson of MLB.com, he was evaluated overnight and will be assessed again on Saturday morning.
A pain in the back in more ways than one
Of course, any time missed by the two-time All-Star would be unfortunate for the Blue Jays. He has been having another fine campaign in Toronto, highlighted by 28 saves (tied for third-most in the Majors) and a 2.79 ERA.
It would understandably also be a shame for Romano personally, who has pitched well in his five appearances since returning from the prior back issue. In 4.1 combined innings, he has allowed just four hits (including two on Friday) and only one earned run.
The Markham, Ontario native's importance to the bullpen cannot be overstated. As a unit, they rank eighth in the Majors in ERA, sixth in WHIP and tied-10th in batting average.