August 7, 2010

Blue Jays Catcher Has Historic Debut

Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia enjoyed what might be the greatest debut in baseball history this afternoon.

Arencibia, 24 years old, was called up on Thursday and penciled into the #9 spot against Tampa Bay at Skydome. He went 4-for-5, with two home runs, including one on the first pitch of his career. Toronto beat the Rays 17-11.

He is the first player in history* to have four hits and two home runs in his debut -- and only the fifth player to hit two home runs in his first major league game.

* Or "since 1900", anyway.

In his post-game interview, with his mother watching from the back of the room (!), he said: "I could never have imagined this -- ever."

That is an understatement. Who could conceive of hitting two home runs, a double, and a single in your major league debut -- on your first four swings and before the end of the sixth inning?!?!
2nd - First pitch home run
3rd - (b) double
5th - (bcb) single
6th - First pitch home run
7th - (bcbff) Fouled out to RF
Arencibia was in a position to hit for the cycle in his first four career plate appearances.

Jordan Bastian,
Before the end of the game, Arencibia's name was one of the top 10 worldwide trending topics on the social-networking site Twitter. In the Blue Jays' team shop, his No. 9 jersey was already selling, too.

"Seriously? Wow," Arencibia said. "That's unbelievable. That's crazy. I really still think you're playing with me."


laura k said...

Move over, Daniel Nava! Wow.

johngoldfine said...

Probably not an act he's going to find that easy to follow.

Michael Holloway said...

I echo johngoldfine's sentiment.

Yesterdays game was a weird one. Not only did Arencibia do something rather against the odds, so did the collective line-ups of both teams.

Jays starting pitcher Brad Mills was pulled in the 5th with no one out and the bases loaded after a seeing eye ground ball to second sneaks into right for a base hit, then a pop to right that drops between the right fielder and the second baseman, and then a pop that lands similarly between the left fielder and the SS. Next batter walks which plates a run which makes it 3-8 - and that's it for Mills. The two inherited runs score on a shallow sac to right and a weird ground ball to SS that pulls the defender so far to his right he has only one play, even if the team wanted to cut down the run (which they probably didn't - DP would have been the play that was on 4-8 in the 5th). The inning ends with a Ks of the next batter.

Now it gets weird, as I promised.

With 2 out in the bottom of the same frame Arencibia hits his single. That's followed by a bloop single arching just out of reach of the SS and into CF, then next batter hits a ball to short but the defender has no play, and Ks is recorded then another no play ball, this time to 3rd base, next batter hits another seeing sigle just barely over the infield for 2 RBI, the next ball hit is a 'legitimate' BH. Somewhere in all this Tampa starting pitcher James Sheilds in yanked.

(ESPN boxscore says 4.0 IP, but that is wrong as the first batter of the inning was an out, and yet shield receives 8 runs allowed - which equals all 5 plated by the Jays in the inning.)

'Turnabout is fair play' I think the expression goes, but neither pitchers lot was fair it seemed yesterday.