Is Yangervis Solarte's 8-hit, multi-homer doubleheader day due to a lucky bandage?
Baseball players are a superstitious lot. There are lucky socks, cleats and never-to-be-washed underwear. Yangervis Solarte may have just found the first lucky bandage.
In Monday's doubleheader against the Indians, the Blue Jays infielder injured his mouth sliding into third base in the third inning of the Blue Jays' 13-11 win in Game 1. That necessitated the milk mustache-like bandage to be placed upon his face.
Or, perhaps you'd rather a Ned Flanders comparison?
There would be no taking him out of the game, though. "I went through the Minors," Solarte said after the completion of the doubleheader. "I went through a lot of difficulties in the Minors. It'll take a lot more to get me out of the game. I knew I just had to go through the pain, and look what happened."
Look what happened indeed. Just like Batman, once he put on the (beauty) mask, Solarte caught fire. In the 11th inning, Solarte came to bat with the bases loaded. With a second game to be played, every player on each team was probably praying that the game would end so they could prepare for the next one.
With one swing, Solarte ensured that the game would not get past the 11th inning.
That capped off a five-hit game -- three coming after the band-aid was applied -- and led to both a self-high-five and a hug.
The Blue Jays would need all of those runs as Cleveland scored two runs to make things almost as tight as Solarte's embrace.
And then, in the second game, the injured infielder was back at it. In his first at-bat in the second inning, he went deep. Just look at that swing -- reaching down and off-balanced. If not for the bandage's magical powers, or the slight counter-balance it provides, perhaps Solarte tumbles over at the plate rather than going yard:
Two innings later, he hit a double before finishing the day with a single to give him eight hits in the two games.
"It banged him up pretty good," manager John Gibbons said. "He's a good hitter. Of course he had a huge day, but he's off to a great start for us. Either side of the plate, it doesn't matter. He's a great hitter.
Sure, maybe the bandage had nothing to do with the infielder's big day. But should Solarte really risk it? Don't be surprised if this taped-on 'stache lasts all year long, though that may be up to the team trainer.
"We'll see tomorrow what's going to happen. They're going to re-evaluate me tomorrow and see if I need anything," Solarate said.