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Lots of history in today's Rays-Blue Jays game

Aug 7, 2010, 5:11 PM EDT

Some good, some bad.

I’m gonna throw you for a loop and start with the bad. James Shields tied a modern day major league record by giving up six home runs in this afternoon’s 17-11 loss to the Blue Jays. Shields is the eighth pitcher since 1920 to do it and the first since R.A. Dickey as a member of the Rangers in 2006.

There’s something inherently fluky about an outing like this, but the Jays entered the day with more home runs than anyone and Shields has struggled with the gopher ball all year long, so there was obviously the potential for disaster here. That’s pretty much what happened, as the Rays dropped their fourth consecutive game, a season-high.

Okay, now on to the good stuff. The Jays connected for eight home runs this afternoon. According to the fine folks at STATS LLC, the Yankees were the last team to hit eight homers in a game, back on July 31, 2007. Yes, Jose Bautista padded his major league lead with his 34th home run and Aaron Hill hit two homers of his own, but everybody is talking about the major league debut of J.P. Arencibia.

Arencibia, who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas after John Buck was placed on the DL this week, went 4-for-5 with two home runs. In fact, he slugged a two-run homer off Shields on the very first pitch he saw in the second inning. He became the first Jays player to homer in his first major league at-bat since Junior Felix on May 4, 1989.

Arencibia later added a solo shot in the sixth. With a single and double, the former 2007 first-round pick finished a triple short of the cycle. According to Jordan Bastian of, Arencibia is the first player since 1900 to have two homers and four hits in his first major league game. That’s quite an introduction. I hate using the old Wally Pipp analogy, but Buck might have to take a back seat to Arencibia when he returns.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Ugly, ugly game, but an impressive showing for the FeatherLice. I don’t think they’re going to play catchup this season but next season, look out for these guys. I have to wonder if someone up at Rogers wasn’t reading Joseph Conrad when they finally decided to throw Ricciardi overboard. The wind certainly came up when they did.
    The Rays are behaving like the guy who climbed the mountain and passed out in the thin air after planting his “Excelsior” pennant.

  2. dprat - Aug 7, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    My wife and I just finished our first ever adult milkshakes… your recommended Framboise Lambic over Cherry Garcia. We both very much enjoyed it. Thanks for the tip! A couple more and I might forgive Shields for destroying my fantasy team.

  3. Ick McWang - Aug 7, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    shields had a great start to this year but has been shaky, if not terrible, pretty much since may. even when he only allows a run or two it seems he is a bad pitch from allowing a few more runs. he seems to have picked up a few mph on his fastball this year (he’s hitting 94, i don’t recall him ever getting over 92 in the past) but he is giving up more home runs. I had heard the Rays pitchers were all learning/trying to learn to throw cutters in spring training this year and last, don’t know if that has anything to do with it, maybe he is hanging cut fastballs and people are jut blasting them

  4. Proudly Canadian - Aug 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Jays fans have been waiting for Arencibia to appear in the majors with a lot of anticipation. The only major league hitter with more home runs than the 31 he had in Vegas is Jose Bautista. Buck was only signed for 1 year, because the team knew that Arencibia would be ready to take over next season. Buck has been terrific so far both as a hitter and as a catcher, but he is no Arencibia. Buck has earned a fat contract with another team next year. We wish him success with his next team.

  5. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Heh – I called it an adult ice cream soda, but never you mind. Glad you enjoyed it. Here’s something else that works wonders on a blistering hot day, learned from a chance afternoon layover at the Olema Inn in west Marin County, CA. I take a small handful of fresh mint leaves and crumple them up in my hand, then put them in a small plastic container and pour a half a cup of key lime juice over them (ordinary lime juice will do but key lime is huskier, earthier – just better). I let the leaves steep in the juice overnight. Then, I pour a little of this minted juice – usually with a bit of the crumbled leaves – into a tall glass, cover it with ice and pour on ginger ale (diet ginger ale in my case). Done this way the minted lime juice will stay at the bottom of the glass and just send up little whiffs and hints of itself through the ginger ale. A gulp of this concoction when your throat is dry will make you wish you could pour it down your windpipe too. Give it a try. You should have enough minted lime juice for four or five glasses of ginger ale this way.

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