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Jose Bautista sets Blue Jays record with 30 first-half homers

Jul 9, 2011, 9:44 PM EDT

Jose Bautista Getty Images

Jose Bautista became the first major leaguer in four years and the first ever Blue Jay to hit 30 homers prior to the All-Star break when he took Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin deep in the third inning Saturday.

Alex Rodriguez was the last player to hit 30 homers in the first half, finishing with exactly that many on his way to hitting 54 overall in 2007.

George Bell held the Blue Jays record with 29 first-half homers in his MVP season of 1987.  He ended up with 49 homers that year.

Bautista, this year’s leading vote-getter in All-Star balloting, has hit 60 homers in 156 games since last year’s All-Star break.

Tonight’s homer was also his 100th since joining the Blue Jays late in the 2008 season.

11:00 p.m. EDT: After Jon Rauch blew a save in the ninth, Bautista hit his 31st homer in the 10th inning to lead the Blue Jays to a 5-4 win over the Indians.

It gives him four multihomer games this season.  He’s hit seven homers in nine games this month.

  1. missthemexpos - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Thankfully Bautista hit #31 in extra innings as the Jays blowpen did what they have done way too many games this season.

  2. qcubed3 - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    So I’ve got seats out in the left field bleachers for the Home Run Derby. There are about, maybe, 2000 seats out there. So, I figure that means each of us will average catching about two homers from Joey Bats per round.

  3. Ari Collins - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Remember all those commenters who thought he wouldn’t hit 30 this year?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 10, 2011 at 5:46 AM

      He is having a much better season this year than he had last year.

  4. danberman4 - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    Isn’t anyone even the least bit skeptical? Sorry, but I have a hard time believing we’ll ever have a game that’s free of steroids, HGH and other PEDs. I do hope Bautista is clean, but who really knows?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 10, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      We had this conversation awhile back, complete with my compelling Rogue Chemist theory. You will likely be shouted down for your skepticism even with the qualifying statement that you hope he is clean.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        That’s because qualifying that you hope he’s clean doesn’t mean you’re not irresponsibly accusing someone of using steroids, your only “evidence” being that he’s doing well. And it’s not like his performance is out of the blue, considering his very clear-to-the-eye mechanics changes, his always-talked-about potential, and the fact that he started mashing during his peak years.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 10, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        I wasn’t accusing the guy of anything. In fact, I said that in that discussion that I didn’t think he was using performance enhancers. My Rogue Chemist theory wasn’t directed at him just the mere possibility of such a thing transpiring in regards to professional athletes.

  5. accfanto - Jul 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Bautista’s success is in his swing. He’s not more powerful, which would be a sign of drug use. Nor is his body any different. He doesn’t muscle balls out of the park. He’s highly selective at the plate, and meets the ball well. As Cleveland manager Manny Acta said, when a pitcher makes a mistake, Bautista doesn’t foul it off, he doesn’t hit it off the wall, he hits it over the wall. He’s just making great contact and has the ability to adjust within an at-bat to what the pitcher is throwing. He’s got an unbelievable eye at the plate, and is among the league leaders in drawing walks. If this was all power, you’d expect his walk total to be lower, his strikeout total to be higher. You expect him to spray more homers to the opposite field based on power alone. But he’s none of that.

  6. alamarco - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Didn’t see this mentioned yet, but not only is it his mechanics, he’s one of the hardest working players in the game. He studies pitchers tendencies not only before the game, but during the game. He goes into the game with a game plan, but he changes it during the game depending on what he sees. He is also always talking with teammates to see if they noticed something and give them tips on what he noticed.

    His swing was a big change in his success, but his hard work is another huge aspect of his recent success.

  7. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    said it before, will say it again, hand that man a pee cup ASAP!!

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