Blue Jays right fielder Randal Grichuk narrowly avoided a gruesome outcome during Sunday’s game against the Indians. In the fourth inning, Brandon Guyer lofted a foul ball to right field, prompting both Grichuk and first baseman Justin Smoak to chase it down. As they approached the wall, the security guard sitting along the first base line grabbed his stool and had started to get out of the way when Grichuk came sliding in to make the catch and inadvertently collided with the edge of the chair.
Both men immediately fell to the ground as Grichuk made contact with the stool, and he was quickly helped off the field with what appeared to be a facial injury of some kind. While the Blue Jays have yet to announce an official diagnosis, the outfielder was evaluated for a concussion after exiting the game and is expected to undergo follow-up imaging to his face in order to determine whether he sustained any fractures in the collision.
Following the incident, Billy McKinney shifted from left to right field and Teoscar Hernandez was brought in to cover the empty spot in the lineup. Grichuk went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts against Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger before making his eventual departure in the fourth. The 27-year-old is batting .247/.303/.488 with 21 home runs and a .791 OPS over 403 plate appearances this year.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.