Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ichiro Does It All

It wasn’t that long ago that I speculated that Ichiro Suzuki’s days in a Yankees uniform could be numbered. That’s not going to happen if the 40-year old has more days like he had in the first game of a day-night doubleheader with the LA Dodgers Wednesday.

Ichiro stood out at the plate and in the field in the Yankees 6-4 win in the first regular season contest played between the two storied franchises in Yankee Stadium. Already up 2-0, Ichiro hit a solo home run off Dodgers left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu in the 6th inning.

After the Dodgers scored a pair of runs off starter and winner Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro helped out his countrymen again with a 2-run single to cap a 3-run 7th inning.  The 10 time Gold Glove winner then flashed the leather in the 8th inning when he made a running, leaping catch to take an extra base hit and an RBI away from Adrian Gonzalez. The play proved crucial when the next batter, Hanley Ramirez, belted a 2-run home run to cut the Yankees advantage to 6-4.

Kuroda helped himself out in the early part of the ballgame with some quick reflexes. Gonzalez and Ramirez started the top of the 4th off with a single and double to put two men in scoring position with no one out. Andre Ethier lined a ball back up the middle, but Kuroda snared it and threw to David Adams to double Gonzalez off of third. Kuroda then retired veteran Juan Uribe to keep the Dodgers off the board.

Mariano Rivera bounced back from his struggles Sunday in Anaheim to pitch a 1-2-3 9th inning for his 25th save of the season.  Rivera welcomed rookie Yasiel Puig to the bigs with a game ending strikeout.


Despite a shortage of infielders, the Yankees brought up outfielder Zoilo Almonte, who will play in the evening contest.  Almonte impressed Joe Girardi in the past two Spring Trainings and was having a good year for Triple-A Scranton. In 68 games, the recently turned 24-year old had splits of .297/.368/.421 with 6 HR and 36 RBI. The right-handed hitter also had 12 doubles, a triple and was 4-5 in stolen base attempts.

The main reason the Yankees brought up an outfielder, as Mark Feinsand pointed out on the radio broadcast, was due to injuries to infielders Corban Joseph and Ronnier Mustelier, both of whom are on the DL.

The Bleacher Creatures chanted “Donnie Baseball” in tribute to former Yankees standout and current Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. The former #23 now dons #8 (See what I did there) in Dodger blue and gracisously tipped his cap to the Creatures. He and Joe Girardi hugged each other when they brought out the lineup cards prior to the game.

Back in the lineup as a regular, Lyle Overbay came through in the clutch again. He drove a ball over Ethier's head in center field for a 2-run double to start the day's scoring.

Phil Hughes and Chris Capuano will face off in the nightcap.

No comments:

Post a Comment