The ball was struck so hard off the top of his right foot about 10 days or so ago that Adam Lind said you could see the ball’s seams impregnated into the skin.
That’s hard – and it is no wonder that he is still unable to walk around the clubhouse without a bit of a list.
What is a wonder that Lind continues to play and continues to be a feared bat in the Toronto Blue Jays lineup.
The veteran infielder/designated hitter with the now-signature billygoat beard is quietly having himself a heck of a season that continued Monday night at Rogers Centre against the New York Yankees.
Lind singled home Toronto’s first run in the first inning and then thumped a three-run home run to centre in the six-run second to lead the Blue Jays to an easy 8-3 romp over the Yankees.
It was the first of a three-game series that will continue Tuesday night when the Blue Jays will send Mark Buehrle (10-4) to the mound to contest David Phelps (3-4).
Lind is so unpretentious that when he met with the media after the game in the clubhouse, he shuffled into the scrum barefooted.
Many players won’t go near a television camera until their hair gel has set or their designer baseball cap is angled just-so.
With his RBI single the left-handed-hitting Lind has now reached base safely in 40 of his 48 games this season. He is hitting .364 over his last 38 games.
He said playing with his sore foot is a bit difficult “if you want to walk” but otherwise it does not bother him too much when he is taking his cuts in the batter’s box.
“Actually getting going is fine,” he said. “It’s the slowing down and the shuffling when you’re on base that it flares up a little bit.”
But Lind knows with all the injuries the Blue Jays have suffered of late that he needs to remain in the lineup, so he perseveres.
“You take him out of our lineup that’s a big hole especially when a lot of our big guys [hitters] are righthanded,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “You put that lefthander in there it makes a big, big difference.
“The home run was huge but, yeah, we’re not the same team without him in there.”
It was a huge bounce-back from rookie starter Marcus Stroman who pitched a eight innings and recorded seven strikeouts – both career highs – to handcuff the Yankees.
A week after cuffing Stroman around over four innings in New York, the Yankees could manage just three hits and one run off the 23-year-old.
The biggest difference this time out?
“Just better command, just better overall command,” he said. “I felt like I was in the strike zone more, making better quality pitches.”
That plus the fact that he threw about 100 change-ups between starts, a pitch that he used to great affect against the would-be New York hitters along with a sharp curveball that dove down in the zone.
“I felt my changeup was a big pitch [Monday night],” he said. “Even though I didn’t use it much, when I used it it was pretty crucial. I was just down in the zone today.”
Gibbons said the big difference he noticed was simply that Stroman threw more of his pitches for strikes.
“He was really on,” Gibbons said. “In Yankee Stadium he was scattering a little it more. They came out swinging a lot a little bit earlier tonight than they did the last time.
“Shoot, it was a fantastic, job. We needed that. We needed some shutdown innings early on, give our offence a chance to get on the board like that. Pretty impressive.”
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