Keeping up with Ichiro — No. 25 and counting
As a little bonus tonight, I will be keeping you up to date at-bat by at-bat on Ichiro’s pursuit of a club record-tying, 25-game hitting streak in tonight’s series opener against the Orioles.
That didn’t take long. Ichiro hit the second pitch he got from left-hander Rich Hill into left-center field for a double — and went to third on left fielder Nolan Reimold’s error.
Here are some facts to go with the streak:
* Starting with a hit in his first at-bat in the second game of this 25-gamer, Ichiro got a hit the first time up 11 times. Only twice during the streak – games eight and 20 – did he have to wait until his final at-bat to keep it going.
* The last time the 35-year-old went on a hitting binge like this was in May 2007. He went 1-for-3 against the Yankees at Safeco Field on May 7 and had at least one hit for the nest 24 games, a streak that ended on June 1 when he went 0-for-4 against the Rangers at Safeco Field.
* Ichiro is batting .406 (43-f0r-106) during the current 24-game streak, which matches former Seattle second baseman Joey Cora for the second-longest hitting streak in franchise history. Cora, who finished second in the team’s managerial hunt this past off-season, had his hitting binge in 1997. Ichiro had his first inb ’07.
* The current streak is the longest active streak in the Majors.
* He has 30 hitting streaks of 10 games or longer during his eight-plus seasons with the Mariners, including 16 that lasted at least 15 games.
* Even if he sets a franchise record, Ichiro would need to stay hot for a few more days to stretch his streak to 30 games, which would be the 54th time that has happened. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is the latest to do it, earlier this season.
* Joe DiMaggio is the only player in MLB history to reach 50 — he holds the record with a 56-game binge in 1941.
— Jim Street