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Ichiro singles in first at-bat as Yankees top Mariners

Jul 24, 2012, 12:54 AM EST

Ichiro Suzuki Reuters

The Yankees ended their season-high four-game losing streak Monday, but this one was all about Ichiro Suzuki.

Facing his old teammates in the ballpark in which he spent 11 1/2 seasons, Ichiro got a huge ovation in his first at-bat for the Yankees and responded by bowing towards the Safeco Field crowd. He then promptly lined a single to center field and stole second base. It was his lone hit in four at-bats as the Yankees won 4-1.

Ichiro hit eighth and started in right field in his Yankees debut. Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that Ichiro would play mostly left field, but with Nick Swisher still nursing a hip flexor strain, Ichiro was able to start in his traditional spot tonight.

The eighth spot in the order was something new. Ichiro never hit lower than third in 1,844 games for the Mariners. However, given that he came into Monday batting .261/.288/.353 on the season, eighth or ninth is probably where he belongs in the Yankees lineup.

Ichiro also gave up his customary No. 51 and chose to wear No. 31 for the Yankees. No. 51 was Bernie Williams’ number, and while the Bombers haven’t retired it yet, they also haven’t issued it since he ended his career. Ichiro’s new No. 31 is the number Dave Winfield wore for the Yankees.

Taking over for Ichiro in right field for the Mariners tonight was Carlos Peguero. He went 0-for-3 and struck out twice, giving him 12 strikeouts versus just five hits in 24 at-bats for Seattle. The Mariners as a whole had three hits on the night.

  1. Reflex - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Classy. Glad he left on his own terms rather than an awkward contract negotiation after the season.

  2. heathater4lifeson - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Iiiiiiiiiiichiroooooo

  3. hushbrother - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    As a Red Sox fan I am delighted to see Ichiro and his .642 OPS in pinstripes. How utterly arrogant of the Yankees. Their attitude is “We know how to handle a player like Ichiro. He’s been in a slump but he’ll play better for us.” Riiight.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:24 AM

      Who gives a damn what a fan of a team 10.5 game back and in last place thinks about anything?

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:56 AM

        As a Red Sox fan, I heartily concur.

        We are in NO position to be throwing snide comments around like the one “hushbrother” made.

        All Boston fans should just STFU, stop obsessing over what the Yankees do, and keep a stiff upper lip as this goddamned Greek tragedy of a season stumbles to its inevitable, ignominious end.

      • bbil2012 - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Well put aces. I’m a RS fan who agrees with you 100%.

  4. randygnyc - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Ichiro will be fine at the bottom of the lineup and playing left field, most days. I’m sure he’ll sit against most, if not all lefties with Jones able to slot in there as well. With under half the season less, this will mean less time off for Arod and jeter as DH. With ibanez and Jones producing, I don’t expect Nix or Chavez getting lots of playing time. I think Ichiro will produce at an acceptable level for the next 9 weeks.

  5. jprcox - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    How bad are the Mariners? The only way they can show their appriciation to a good player after years of service is to trade that player to a good team so he can win before he retires. The classy thing to do no doubt….but the Mariner’s are that bad. Maybe that is something they should start to include in players’ contracts up in Seattle. LOL

    • Bryz - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      Still classier than this comment of yours.

      • jprcox - Oct 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        ? what the heck are you talking about…do you think the Mariners are good?

  6. cbking05 - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    The Mariners should move to Oklahoma City if they want to win…

    • chumthumper - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:34 AM

      Ouch. Now that’s a zinger.

  7. mrguyana - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    he is a good pick up but the Yankees need pitching bad

    • ferrisdp - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      No more than anyone else and less than most. They are near the top of the AL in ERA (bunched up with Tampa and Texas) and their bullpen has been pretty solid all year. Could they use pitching, sure, nearly all teams could, but need it bad, no.

  8. lardin - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    This is a great trade for the Yankees. Worst Case Scenario, he’s the fourth outfielder mostly playing left and right and occaisonly giving Granderson a day off. Best case scenario, he regains some of his all star form, becomes the starting LF, and slides Jones/Ibanez to Dh.

  9. psousa1 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Well as Red Sox fan I am completely envious. I used to love this time of year to see who they might pick up. This was such a great move by NY. LF in Yankee stadium is much more expansive than right and Swisher is not a good outfielder so you still get a phenomenal OF in Ichiro. For the past 5 years he has not had an offensive threat around him anywhere in that Seattle lineup. Now he has good hitters around him. Don’t be surprised if he hits .350 the rest of the year. Great move and I am pissed.

  10. sabatimus - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    So, if Ichiro gets 3000 hits in a Yankees uniform and makes the Hall (which he will anyway), will it be as a Yankee? If so, I find that very sad.

    • psousa1 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      No it goes by the team with whom you had most of your accomplishments. Gary Carter went in as an expo even though he had good years and a World Series with the Mets. Wade Boggs is in as a Red Sox even though he won a WS and a few pretty good years with NY and got his 3,000 hit as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray.

      About 8-10 years ago teams were paying guys (why I don’t know) to go in with a particular hat now the hall of fame took over.

      • lardin - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        Boggs was the cause for this rule, he negotiated it into his contract with the Devil Rays that he would go into the Hall with their cap..

  11. urodaddy07 - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    not a big baseball fan but find this story interesting, I have always liked Ichiro. What exactly did Seattle get out of this trade? I think there will be less pressure in Ichiro with bigger bats ahead of him. Think he will do well

    • vallewho - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

      2 mil savings.

  12. vallewho - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Ichiwho?

    Kidding. Hope he does well.

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