Well, that’s one way to protect your .750 average.
J.P. Arencibia gave way to Jose Molina on Day 2 of the Blue Jays’ season and watched his fellow catcher launch a home run, go 2-for-3 and guide Kyle Drabek to his first Major League victory.
Drabek went seven innings, threw 101 pitches and fanned seven as the Jays again won impressively, 6-1, on Saturday. The key piece in the Roy Halladay deal walked three and surrendered just one hit in his fourth career start.
Molina and Drabek worked closely during spring training, so it’s not a surprise manager John Farrell would have them form the battery. Arencibia Nation can count on their hero being back in the lineup Sunday, where he could actually pad his lofty numbers from opening night against the mediocre Nick Blackburn, who posted a 5.42 ERA last season.
Arencibia was on the bench after a monumental start to his rookie season. After his two-homer, five-RBI performance on Friday, he tweeted: “Still at a loss for words not by our performance but the atmosphere u guys brought to that stadium yest. U impact us in a HUGE way! Thank u!”
J.P. obviously wasn’t paying attention to the activity going on in the 500 level above home plate, where three fights broke out, including a wild brouhaha involving a woman throwing haymakers at some guy who turtled like a UFC tomato can.
Good entertainment value, up there. Pay $15 for a ballgame, get a bit of MMA too.
Sunday: Nick Blackburn (Twins) vs. Brett Cecil (Jays), 1 p.m., Sportsnet
*The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch predicts the Miami-born Blue Jay will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2033, after a 17-plus-year career spent entirely in Toronto, except for a brief stint with his hometown Florida Marlins that goes awry when he realizes the benefit of the American League’s DH rule for guys like him and the value of the Canadian dollar that will be worth twice as much as the greenback by the quarter-century mark. He belts 440 home runs, evoking Toronto’s latitude (44 degrees north) and tops the homer record for a catcher by roughly 50. He also becomes the first Toronto celebrity to have an entire sorority house at U of T named after him for reasons we will leave to your imagination and captures three MVP awards, two World Series rings and the hearts of more than a few aging Justin Bieber fans, and inspires a good number of fantasy geeks that it’s okay to have a crush on a guy.
J.P. Arencibia 2011 Season Stats: