Lost in the Toronto Blue Jays' dramatic 5-3 walkoff win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night was Edwin Encarnacion’s 26-game hitting streak coming to an end.
Encarnacion went 0-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly, bringing the second-longest hitting streak in Blue Jays history to an end. While the streak itself is over Encarnacion is putting together one of the best stretches in club history.
Encarnacion won’t break Shawn Green’s franchise record 28-game hitting streak, but his numbers over the length of his streak are superior to what Green provided during his run. From June 29, 1999 to July 31, Green slashed .366/.434/.750 with 12 home runs and 27 RBIs in 112 at-bats. Impressive numbers for a team that was 10 game above .500 but already six games behind the first-place Yankees.
Encarnacion’s streak was even more impressive. He slashed .412/.474/.876 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 97 at-bats from July 26 to September 1. The Blue Jays went 18-8 during his hitting streak. It was also the seventh longest hitting streak in the majors over the last five seasons. Dan Uggla, then of the Braves, had a 33-game streak in 2011, but it’s been 37 years since any player even reached 40 or more games – Pete Rose in 1978 who had a 44-game streak. Of course, Joe DiMaggio holds the record with a 56-game streak in 1941.
Edwin Encarnacion's hit streak is over at 26. But he had more XBH (23) in that streak than Ellsbury, Utley, Werth or Wieters have all year!— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) September 2, 2015
Encarnacion had statistically the best August in franchise history. His .407 average, .919 slugging percentage, and 35 RBIs (equaled by Josh Donaldson) are the most ever in a month, and his 11 home runs is the second most ever. His recent surge isn’t going unnoticed – he was named American League player of the week last week.
He is also putting together one of the best second halves in franchise history. Encarnacion is batting .367 so far in the second half of the 2015. If he keeps up that pace he would break the franchise record set by Paul Molitor who hit .361 in the second half of the 1993 season.
Encarnacion has at least one RBI in 11 of his last 13 games, and a total of 25. That offensive outburst has moved him into third place in the American League in RBIs, behind Donaldson and Chris Davis of the Orioles.
After a slow start in which he batted .233 in the first half, Encarnacion has raised his batting average 33 points since July 1, and is a big reason why the Blue Jays are poised to end their 22-year playoff drought.
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