In the first inning of the 4-2 win over the Blue Jays, Ichiro Suzuki hit a single to left for his 4,000th combined hit between the Orix Blue Wave in Japan, the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees. He drilled the ball past Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie, which was reminiscent of many hits that he has previously had in has Hall of Fame career.
Ichiro joins Ty Cobb and Pete “Charlie Hustle” Rose as the only players to have 4,000 professional hits. Cobb had 4,189 hits in his career with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics. Rose, who had the most hits in MLB history, had 4,256 hits in his career with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos.
It was great to see all of the players come onto the field after Ichiro achieved the milestone. It makes sense that his 4,000th hit, and 2,722nd hit in Major League Baseball, was a single because his speed and bat control has helped him record so many singles throughout his career.
The Yankees scored their first run of the game after Austin Romine hit a sacrifice fly to deep left that scored Eduardo Nunez. Then, in the third inning, Curtis Granderson’s single to shallow right drove in Robinson Cano. Granderson now has a four-game hitting streak, however, he has one hit in each of those four games.
Overall, the Yankees struggled offensively in this game as they only had six hits against R.A. Dickey, who won the National League CY Young last season. The Yankees had only four hits up until the eighth inning as Dickey had more success early in the game than he had in recent games. He has a 4.49 ERA this season so he has not lived up to his excellent campaign from last season.
However, in the eighth inning Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer that drove in Robinson Cano. That turned out to be the game winning homer as Soriano helped the Yankees win yet another game over the past two weeks. He was previously 0-17, but Soriano ended his slide with a clutch homer to deep left that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Yankees Stadium was truly electric after Ichiro hit his 4,000th hit and after Soriano hit his sixth homer in his past nine games. Soriano currently has 398 homers. After hits two more he will become only the 51st player with 400 or more homers. The trade to reacquire Soriano has been outstanding and he has given the Yankees exactly what they needed.
On the pitching side, the combination of Adam Warren and David Huff combined to allow two runs in eight innings as Huff threw very well in relief of Warren, who was making a spot start. I definitely noticed that the fans in the stadium raised the volume level as Mariano Rivera came in from the bullpen to Enter Sandman. This is his last season and he only has a limited amount of appearances left to perform in front of the home fans.
He allowed one hit and struck out two with his pinpoint control to notch his 37th save of the campaign. Rivera’s save means that the Yankees are now only four games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild-Card. The Athletics have lost three of their last five games and the Baltimore Orioles, who are one game ahead of the Yankees, have lost two of their last three games. After each win the likelihood of the Yankees getting a Wild-Card is increasing.
The Yankees will look to sweep the last place Blue Jays behind Andy Pettitte at 1:05. In his last start, he pitched 6.2 shutout innings against Boston.
Here is video of Ichiro’s 4,000th hit and the reaction to it: