May 20, 2011
JP Arencibia homers for Ryley James Martin on Thursday.
J.P. Arencibia not only made his good buddy Ricky Romero a winner on Thursday night, he got us all to remember winning on the diamond isn’t everything. Arencibia and Romero dedicated the Jays’ 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay to Ryley James Martin, a 2½-year-old Oshawa boy who passed away on Wednesday after battling leukemia.
Arencibia and Romero had met Ryley on April 2 for 15 minutes when he had the chance to visit the team in the dugout at the ’Dome. After hitting a two-run, seventh-inning home run off of Tampa Bay starter Wade Davis, Arencibia cried.
“I shed a few tears after that home run because it was for him,” Arencibia told reporters after the game while holding a photo of him and Ryley together. “It’s killing me. I have nieces and nephews, and anytime something like that happens, it’s tough.”
Later, on his Twitter feed, Arencibia kindly and thoughtfully wrote: “Great win but its a game … We played this game for one person tonight RJM! RIP little buddy! Will never forget that smile!”
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April 21, 2011
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
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 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
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 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 7, 2011
J.P. Arencibia rips a shot to leftfield, but he ends up getting thrown out at second as he tries for a double on Wednesday. (We shot it)
Catchers are catchers because they can’t run. If they could run, they would be Craig Biggio and be moved to middle infield or centerfield. J.P. Arencibia is a catcher through and through, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he gets thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, even though it looked like he had extra bases off the bat.
That’s what happened, though, in the second inning on Wednesday night when Arencibia went for two and was gunned down, quelling the chants of “Cooperstown, Cooperstown,” emanating through SkyDome … Okay, it was only coming from the first two rows of Section 116, but it’s a start, right?
Arencibia was 1-for-3 and also threw out a runner as the Jays won again, beating the A’s 5-3 thanks to a three-run homer from Travis Snider in the fourth inning.
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April 6, 2011
Not long after the Maple Leafs’ dim playoff hopes finally flickered out and the Raptors were shamefully smacked around by yet another opponent, the SkyDome* cheered. You didn’t hear it. Only 11,077 went through the turnstiles on Tuesday night. There were so many empty seats even the Butler Bulldogs couldn’t miss hitting blue with their shots (maybe).
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