Ichiro goes deep twice
Okay, this is more of a save face piece than anything else, but seriously, who would’ve thought that after being placed back at the top of the order, Ichiro would finally show some of that number three power?
Whenever I think of the Mariners playing in Chicago, I think back to that 4 homerun game by Mike Cameron. Though Ichiro didn’t quite do that on Saturday, he did get half way there.
The first at bat
On a 1-1 pitch from White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, Ichiro took the pitch deep to right field to lead off the ball game. The ball landed in the M’s bullpen, and should be a souvenir for Brandon League to remind him of his time here in Seattle.
Ichiro is no Ricky Henderson, well except for the better glove, better arm, and possibly, the better speed, but he sure doesn’t come close to the lead-off power that Henderson had.
Any time we can celebrate a player like this, especially one who is a future Hall of Famer who is on the downside of his career, we will take it.
This was a no-doubter off the bat of Ichiro. Alex Rios didn’t even try to chase it down at the wall.
The second at bat
On Ichiro’s next at bat, on a 2-0 hitters count from Floyd, he hit a long fly ball to almost the same spot as his first at bat. This time Alex Rios did give chase, even though this ball was hit farther than the first one.
The difference, the first one was a no-doubt line drive, this one was more of a looping pop fly, that Rios was hoping would come down before it passed over the wall.
This pitch looked a little low, but that is where Ichiro does the most damage. It was a 90 mph fast ball right down the heart of the plate, and Ichiro just stuck is bat out there, and with his signature flick of the wrists, the ball was air born destined for the first row in right field.
The M’s did finally go on to win this back and forth affair, after a two run effort in the 12th inning. Hisashi Iwukuma nailed down his second save of the season for the Mariners.