J.P. Arencibia did his best impersonation of Forrest Gump on Wednesday night, running and running and running. First time around that was great. Arencibia hit his third home run of the season — and first since Opening Day — and trotted around the bases coolly to pull the Blue Jays a run closer to the Yankees in the second inning. Then, after striking out in the fourth, Arencibia walked in the seventh and seemed to get happy feet during the Jays’ 6-2 loss to AL East leaders.
Travis Snider singled to right field and Arencibia went first to third, which would’ve been a great piece of base running if Edwin Encarnacion, who had doubled earlier in the inning, hadn’t been given the stop sign. Encarnacion didn’t go home and Arencibia didn’t pick up the signal. Both Blue Jays ended up on third; Arencibia was tagged for the second out of the seventh. Instead of a potentially big inning, the Jays ended up with just one run — when Jayson Nix singled home Encarnacion — and trailed 5-2 at the ’Dome. They couldn’t replicate the heroics from Tuesday night and fell again to two games below .500 (8-10).
Reliever Frank Francisco, making his season debut, gave up a homer to Mickey Mantle, er, Curtis Granderson in the ninth for the Yankees’ final run.
The Jays have a day off before hosting another AL East foe, the Tampa Bay Rays, on Earth Day.
The base-running gaffe by Arencibia (1-for-3) is only the latest miscue on the bases for John Farrell’s team. The Jays also got another poor effort from Brett Cecil (1-2, 6.86 ERA). They desperately need him to turn in stronger performances, given that their fifth-starter spot figures to be shaky to woeful for most of the year.
Friday, 7 p.m. ET (Sportsnet): Jeremy Hellickson, TB (1-2, 4.50 ERA) at Jo-Jo Reyes, Jays (0-2, 6.75 ERA)
Day 19: Smackin’ that Mo
Day 18: No post, they lost again
Days 15-17: Running on empty
Days 13-14: AL Beast Mode
Days 11-12: Swinging and missing
Days 7-10: Not going to Disney World
Day 6: Running and gunning
Day 5: OK, Blue Jays
Day 4: No post (off-day)
Day 3: Rope burn
Day 2: Call him Johnny Bench
Day 1: Opening Day hero
J.P. Arencibia 2011 Season Stats:
*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 baseball geeks that it’s okay to have a crush on a guy.