Well, he did it. Ichiro Suzuki hit his 4000th career hit in the very 1st inning. He earned 1278 hits in Japan before coming to America in 2001 and playing for Seattle until last July and donning the pinstripes ever since, earning 2,722 total MLB hits. This accomplishment also pushes him ahead of hitting legend Lou Gehrig on the Yankees all-time hit list, 2nd to teammate Derek Jeter who currently sits at 3,308 total hits. He’s also the 3rd person in MLB history to hit 4,000 career hits (after Pete Rose and Ty Cobb). (Video of different broadcast coverage of the hit here.)
Many congratulations to Ichiro! 万才！We look forward to many more hits in pinstripes!
Oh, and they played another great game of baseball tonight in the Bronx against the Toronto Blue Jays. The funny thing (though not humorous to Toronto fans, I’m sure) about the game between these two teams is that one team (the Yankees) keeps climbing up the standings by winning over the other team (the Blue Jays) which is also pushing them further down in the standings, thus creating a wider gap between the 4th and 5th place teams in the AL East. It’s also the 4th win in a row, the 9th win in the last 11 games, and the 12th straight win over the Jays. Now, I wish I bought all those pre-season magazines that practically guaranteed a Blue Jay World Series victory due to their major off-season acquisitions. That’s why “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”…
Anyway, tonight’s game was started by Adam Warren, who threw his first MLB start today. He threw 61 pitches into the 4th inning, allowing just 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Really not terrible for his first big league start, seeing as he’s spent most of the season as reliable long-term relief, something that has been well-used this year. Those 2 runs were the only 2 runs the Blue Jays would score all evening — an RBI single in the 2nd and a solo home run in the 4th inning.
The Yankees called on newbie (at least to the Yankees) David Huff for long-term relief tonight (in other words, they asked Huff to be Warren’s Warren). Huff proved why he was an excellent pick up recently, going 5 innings, allowing just 1 hit, walking 4 batters, striking out 2, but keeping the Jays to those 2 runs. And it was Mariano Rivera called in for the actual save opportunity tonight, and he earned his 37th save this year in 11 pitches. Tonight’s game also featured two fantastic defensive moves by both Huff and Rivera.
Now, I need to give credit where it’s due — Toronto’s starter and former Mets pitcher seemed like he was back to the same stuff that earned him the NL Cy Young award last year. He hasn’t been as flawless much this year, but tonight he seemed to remember how to pitch in New York (even if it wasn’t the right stadium). However, the Yankees are on a roll, and tonight was no exception.
In the 2nd inning, with the Blue Jays up 1-0, the Yankees answered back when Austin Romine hit a sacrifice fly (would have been a huge hit if they didn’t have Spiderman in left field) to score Eduardo Nunez and tie up the game. Then in the 3rd, they see the opportunity to jump ahead as Curtis Granderson’s single finds a hole into right field and scores Robinson Cano. When Toronto answers back in the 4th, the game stays tied 2-2 until the Blue Jays last opportunity to shut the Yankees down, which they didn’t.
Instead, with 2 outs, Cano singles, and it’s Alfonso Soriano who, though recently off his hot streak, decided to shake things up with a blast — a 2-run blast into left field. And the game is 4-2 Yankees for the win.
Also, Jayson Nix was hit with a nasty knuckle ball on his left hand, which x-rays revealed is a fracture. No word yet on surgery or length of DL stint, but my guess is this close to the end of the season, he could be out until the playoffs if the hand heals properly. Personally, I’m glad he got in all his heroics with yesterday’s doubleheader because he deserves more credit that he gets as a utility guy, and I know he will be missed on the field and in the clubhouse. We wish him best wishes and quick healing!
And it looks like Derek Jeter will be making his way back to the Bronx soon. He’s scheduled to play with AAA Scranton tomorrow and will probably spend most of the weekend with them. His rehab couldn’t come at a better time, hopefully with no further complications, now to make up for the Nix loss. Strange days we live in as Yankees fans, when it looks like Jeter will be Nix’s replacement, instead of the other way around (like last October).
Anyway, a great game, a bummer loss, but good news on the way today!