The Rangers beat the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALDS yesterday, 5-3, but the game took a toll on both sides as arguably the three most important offensive players in the entire series all left with injuries at different points in the game.
First, Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre exited with back stiffness. He appeared to first tweak it sliding into second base earlier in the game, but after an RBI single in the 3rd, he could hardly run to first base. He left the game practically in tears.
Then, in the 5th inning, Toronto third baseman and AL MVP favourite Josh Donaldson left for precautionary reasons after taking a knee to the head while sliding into second base. It was an ugly play and Donaldson looked shaken up afterwards.
Here’s another angle:
In the 8th inning, Bautista left the game with hamstring tightness and missed his final at bat.
While the circumstances for Bautista and Donaldson leaving were different, that they both left the game at all outraged Pete Rose, who for Fox Sports 1 as a commenter.
Under the MLB’s concussion policy, it’s likely that Donaldson didn’t even have a choice in leaving the game. And when you consider how tough of a player Donaldson is, especially this season, it’s hard to imagine him electing to leave the first playoff game in Toronto since 1993. Still, Rose seems to believe that a scary head injury isn’t enough to leave a game in the first place.
After the game, the Jays announced that Donaldson had passed his concussion test. He and Bautista are both back in the lineup for Game 2, which begins Friday afternoon at 12:45. Beltre, meanwhile, is out of the lineup for the Rangers.