Posts tagged ‘blue jays’

April 26, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Days 23-25: Messin’ with Texas

Look at what a few runs and solid starting pitching will do.

Jose Bautista went deep again and Corey Patterson swatted a three-run shot during a six-run fifth inning that put an end to the Jays’ two-game skid. Kyle Drabek (2-0) went six innings, allowing three runs and lowering his ERA to 3.30 in a 6-4 win over the tough Rangers (14-8). Refreshingly, Toronto fans didn’t have to sweat out a win for a change.

A few more like this and someone in marketing will have to think about this: Hustle. Heart. Homers. Hallelujah!

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April 23, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Day 22: John McDonald for prime minister

blue jays at skydome

Should we stuff the ballot box for Johnny Mac on May 2?

This country needs a great leader — why not a guy named John McDonald?

The Jays’ blue-collar second baseman was inspirational on Good Friday, smacking his first home run of the season in the 11th inning to deliver a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay at the ’Dome. Yeah, it’s nowhere close to building a railway across the nation like his namesake, but considering our options, the 36-year-old from East Lyme, Connecticut just might be the one who gets your vote. He wouldn’t need much to make a move in the polls. (Becoming a Canadian citizen first might be a good idea, though. Or maybe if he just says he likes it here that’ll be enough.)

McDonald’s homer — which came on an Adam Russell sinker that stayed in the middle of the plate — keeps the Jays (9-10) in second place in the AL East. He drove home Juan Rivera who miraculously managed to get a hit. The homer also rewards McDonald’s teammates for playing tough yet again — it was their seventh come-from-behind win of the year — and sends a not-so-bad crowd of 23,192 home happy.

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April 21, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Day 20: A homer and a d’oh!

jp arencibia toronto blue jays

J.P. Arencibia homered on Wednesday night.

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.

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April 20, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Day 19: Smackin’ That Mo

Few things in life are sweeter than beating the Yankees. Watching Mariano Rivera disintegrate in the ninth inning just makes victory all the more delicious.

The Blue Jays rallied from two runs down against the major league leader in saves to send Tuesday’s game to extra innings and then pulled out a 6-5 win, their biggest of the season.

Travis Snider, who needed a hit as much as Charlie Sheen, ripped a 1-0 fastball to the right-field gap off of Ivan “No Need to Call Me Super” Nova, scoring Edwin Encarnacion from first base with the winning run. J.P. Arencibia joined the mob as the Jays congratulated Snider as if he had just lost his virginity. It wasn’t far from the case. Snider had been down-right impotent, going 0-for-6 and seeing his batting average plummet to the level of Kate Moss’s weight. But the double in the 10th inning erases a lot of the sting of failure for the leftfielder.

While that’s great for Snider, it was the ninth that the Jays will be happiest about. Mo Rivera entered the game 7-for-7 in save opportunities without allowing an earned run. The Jays (8-9) trailed 5-3 but got to him right away as Yunel Escobar doubled to center field and moved to third on an out by Snider. Escobar scored on a wild pitch that was also ball four to Jose Bautista. Adam Lind followed that walk with a liner into right field that put Bautista on third.

Then it got fun.

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April 18, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Days 15-17: Running on empty

The Boston Marathon is on Monday, the Blue Jays may have been prepping.

They did their best impersonation of Forrest Gump on Sunday, running without care and for no particularly reason it seemed. With none out in the seventh, Travis Snider was picked off when he was caught leaving first base early on a Juan Rivera line drive that was caught by Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. An inning later, Corey Patterson — who’s done some terrific things since coming off the DL — was caught stealing third with two on and one out.

Never mind that the Jays scored their only run on a double-steal in the second. Mistakes are mistakes and these ones were costly.

Of course, you could also say it wouldn’t have mattered if the Jays ran up and down New England in game three of the series. Jon Lester (1-1) wasn’t going to give them much. He went six innings before leaving with a 6-1 lead at Fenway Park.

J.P. Arencibia had a decent day at the plate, bouncing back from an 0-for-4 perfomance on Friday — his last start. The rookie catcher went 2-for-4 and got his average (.308) back over .300, but defensively he was charged with two passed balls as the miscues mounted for the Jays (7-8).

For the second straight day they managed just one run and have to be concerned that they’re the ones who’ve given Boston a pulse. The Red Sox (4-10) have won two games in a row for the first time.

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April 15, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Days 13-14: AL Beast Mode

jp arencibia toronto blue jays

J.P. Arencibia should have a big head. He's hitting .323 as the Jays travel to Fenway Park.

Win one for the JEFfer?

That might be the war cry for J.P. Arencibia and the Blue Jays as they head into Fenway Park, where their rookie manager, John Edward Farrell, was the Red Sox pitching coach for three seasons.

If there’s any extra incentive to latch onto in the next 10 days, the Jays should cling to it like a Barry Bonds’ alibi. They play four games in Beantown against The Best Boston Red Sox Team Ever — who just happen to be 2-9 — before returning home to face the hated Yankees and the Rays next week. That’s nine games against the AL East. If the Jays (6-6) can go 6-3, they should be happy.

Scary thing about the Red Sox is that you know they’re going to bust out at some point. The Jays just hope they wait until next week to do it. Boston is off to its worst start in 15 years. Terry Francona’s team lost their first six games and no AL East team has ever made the playoffs doing that.

Friday’s series opener features two struggling and winless pitchers both with 7.20 ERAs. For the Jays it’s Brett Cecil (0-1) and for Boston it’s Clay Buchholz (0-2). Hmmmm…. think we’ll see some runs?

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April 13, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Days 11-12: Swinging and missing

The Blue Jays keep talking Heart and Hustle. It’s another “H” word they’re desperately in need of, though.

During their four-game losing streak, they’ve failed to come up with clutch hits.

The starting pitching’s been okay and the bullpen has been dependable, despite the fact Shawn Camp and Jason Frasor blew leads in the past week.

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April 11, 2011

The Daily J.P. Arencibia to Cooperstown Watch, Days 7-10: Not Going to Disney World

If you’re only now waking up after watching all 14 innings of Saturday’s marathon game, you’re going to discover the Blue Jays’ have fluttered to their first losing streak of the season. A 3-1 loss on Sunday sent the Jays to their second straight defeat, third in four games and teetering on .500. Hardly Beast Mode, but also far from imploding like Rory McIlroy.

The pitching has been stalwart — especially Octavio Dotel, who won Friday night’s game and zipped fastballs to get out of a jam Saturday night. J.P. Arencibia called the reliever’s performance “phenomenal.”

No one would be so enthusiastic about the other facets of the Jays’ game. The offence has gone MIA, scoring just one run in the last 24 innings, and the outfield defence has turned Bad News Bears.

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