Not that he hasn’t had big games in the past, but for Ichiro Suzuki to hit his first multiple home run game, as a New York Yankee, against the Boston Red Sox, is completely different than anything else he’s done in the past with the Seattle Mariners. Like it or not, it simply means more on a national level.
It’s not Ichiro’s first two-home runs game of the season; he’s already had one against the White Sox back in June while still playing for the Mariners. But he’s been on a roll since switching coasts, and especially in August – A .357 with 2 home runs and 11 RBIs, with a .379 on base percentage and .951 OPS. This is exactly why the Yankees made the move for the 38 year old Right Fielder.
How good was he on the day, against the crumbling the Red Sox (59-63, 13.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East)? He hit both of his home runs off Josh Beckett, allowing 7 hits and four runs during his six innings on the mound, dropping to 5-11 and a 5.23 ERA this season. Beckett was never an ERA kind of guy, but without the run support he’s used to having, the numbers (and his actual performances) simply don’t look good.
But it was about Suzuki, going 3-4 on the day, just like Derek Jeter, even more than Hiroki Kuroda, allowing only 4 hits and one run in his 8 innings on the mound before Rafael Soriano closed the day as the Yankees rebounded from the series opener loss, also 4-1. There are theories that maybe Ichiro has a lot more power in him than people expect, but it’s probably the way Yankee stadium is designed, favoring swings to the right field wall.
For a guy my size, it’s still tough to get it out there — even at this ballpark. I haven’t changed my swing at all.
Ichiro has connected for a hit in 21 of his 23 starts since joining the New York Yankees with a .301 batting average. In their latest home stand (last 6 games) he’s batting .526, going 10-19, helping the Yankees to a 12-6 record so far in August, opening a 2.5 game lead over the Texas in the lead for the AL and 5 games over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.