Not a bad way to start your major league career. First pitch you see you hit out. Second time up a double. Then single. Fourth time up, another homer. He ended the day with a fly out. 11 total bases. 3 runs, 3 RBI. I think we ought to keep J.P. Arencibia. It would tough not to write his name in the lineup every day after this, but I'm sure Cito will find a way.
Also getting home runs were Aaron Hill (who also got two), Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Lyle Overbay. Hill had 10 total bases, EE 7, Lind 5. We had 20 total hits, JP's 4, 3 each for EE, Yunel Escobar and Hill. 2 for Travis Snider and Lind. Every other starter had one. Just a great offensive day. We even took 6 walks, 2 each for Snider, Wells and Bautista.
Our pitching wasn't as good, but then it didn't have to be. Brad Mills started out ok, gave up a couple of runs in the 3rd but wasn't bad. Then in the 5th he had a couple of bloop singles and a ground ball single, then a bases loaded walk. That was enough for Cito. He really had tough luck in that 5th, but his pitch count was up.
Brian Tallet came in and got 3 straight outs, though he did allow a couple of those base runners to score. He pitched 3 decent innings, giving up a 2 run homer after an Encarnacion error. I'm not sure if EE had would have gotten the out even if he came up with it cleanly, but he booted it. Jason Frasor pitched a clean 8th. David Purcey had a terrible time starting the 9th, 2 hits, 2 walks and a sac fly and Casey Janssen was in to finish up. He gave up a single and a walk to let all of Purcey's base runners to score and give Pat Tabler more time to tell us how great the Rays are. Please Pat, just for me, don't spend all of tomorrow auditioning for a job with the Rays broadcast team.
Arencibia is just the 3rd Blue Jay to start his career with a home run. Alvis Woods and Junior Felix were the other 2. Great to see that when they tried to interview JP he got shaving creamed, had 2 buckets of Gatorade poured on him and got shaving creamed again. Please Cito, play him tomorrow.
Jays of the Day? Oh just everyone in the starting line up? No? Well let's go with Arencibia (.140 WPA), Escobar (.104, and a couple of the nicest DP's you are ever going to see) and Encarnacion (.102). I'm also going to give one to Hill even though his WPA was 'only' .053, I think if you hit 2 homers in a day you deserve a JoD. Honorable mention to Lind, Snider (who did a great job as our leadoff hitter), Wells (busted down the line to beat out an infield single and took 2 walks) and Bautista (homer number 34). Mills got Suckage numbers (-.128), hardly far when none of the 3 singles against him in the 5th were hit hard, but such is life.
Can you imagine a better first game in the MLB? It is great that his mom was in the stands to see it. And the reaction of the 24,000 plus fans was wonderful to see. What can he do for an encore? How do they send him back to the minors after 15 days?
Tomorrow Morrow goes for the sweep, while Jeff Niemann (10-3, 3.12) hopefully serves up another bunch of long balls. Afternoon start again. Pretty great that the tough August we were worried about starts off with a series win over the Yankees and a series win over the Rays. Life is good.
Update: as noted in the comments, Jeff Niemann is scratched from tomorrow's start. Andy Sonnanstine (2-0, 4.22). His first start of the season. With a tired bullpen, it should be interesting tomorrow.