Yanks kick off Ichiro era with win over Mariners


Source: FanGraphs

So that was a rather interesting Monday in Yankeeland, no? The 4-1 win over the Mariners is an afterthought following the acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki, a classic surprise move that came out of nowhere in the late afternoon. The team’s new left fielder — who’s playing right while Nick Swisher (groin/hip) is on the shelf — helped his new team beat his old one to end a four-game losing streak. Let’s recap…

  • Autopilot: Games like this are Hiroki Kuroda at his best. The veteran right-hander carved up an inferior lineup for seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and walk while striking out nine. All but two of his 21 outs were recorded on the infield. Joe Girardi may have been able to squeeze another inning out of him after 107 stress-free pitches, but there’s no sense in pushing it. Kuroda did what he’s been doing pretty much all year.
  • Ichiro!: Ichiro’s first day in pinstripes (well, road grays) went pretty well. He singled back up the box in his first at-bat and promptly stole second base, but his teammates were unable to drive him in. Ichiro then popped up to second his second at-bat, hit a rocket ground ball to first that Justin Smoak dove for and turned into an out his third time up, then lined a shot right at the second baseman in his fourth trip to the plate. He wasn’t tested with anything difficult in right. Pretty solid debut.
  • Runs: The Mariners pushed a run across in the third and the Yankees responded immediately with a trio of their own in the fourth. Alex Rodriguez started it with a hustle double before Robinson Cano walked, Mark Teixeira doubled (one run scores), Raul Ibanez singled (one run scores), and Andruw Jones singled (one run scores). Five straight reached and the first three scored. A-Rod tacked on an insurance run with a solo homer to deep left-center in the eighth.
  • Leftovers: David Robertson rolled his right ankle during a pitch in the eighth, but he remained in the game to throw one last pitch to end the inning. He’s fine as far as we know … Teixeira was on everything all night and smashed three balls over the shift for base hits … everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit except for Curtis Granderson, who struck out three times … the final out of the game was made when former Mariner Rafael Soriano got former Yankee Jesus Montero to fly out to former Mariner Ichiro Suzuki. Baseball.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced metrics, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles and Red Sox both lost while the Rays and Blue Jays were idle, so the Yankees increased their lead in the division to seven games over Baltimore and at least nine games over everyone else. Freddy Garcia will have his work cut out for him on Tuesday night when he gets the ball against Felix Hernandez.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Kiko Jones says:

    Cashman is a ninja! Exciting to acquire a future HoFer who can still be a contributing factor. Maybe Ichiro needs to bat 9th and have that 9-1-2 thing going…we’ll see. Kuroda was excellent—7 IN, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 SO—for his tenth win; the bullpen thew 2 perfect innings; Tex made it happen offense-wise; Alex hit a doozy; and the last out was from a recent former Yankee to the newest one. Nice win.

    • forensic says:

      I agree he needs to bat 9th. The times he gets on, you want the better hitters behind him if he can move himself around the bases a little. Having the pitcher behind him is pointless.

    • Knoxvillain says:

      Hopefully he plays so well that he ends up hitting 2nd although I highly doubt that will happen.

      I’m expecting a .280/.320/.380 line from him for the rest of the year. Pretty good once you factor in his speed and his glove.

    • Rich in NJ says:

      The deal was first negotiated by Levine, so it is not really a Cashman deal.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Most likely Levine negotiated the money. Seeing as it’s his job and all.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Cash was on the radio this morning. He said the Mariners president called Levine. From there, Levine brought it to the baseball people.

        This seems like a much better process than the Soriano deal.

  2. Rey22 says:

    Looks like a good time for this bizarre as hell Ichiro video:


  3. forensic says:

    Their Smoak-type bat was just optioned to AAA. Oops…

    • Knoxvillain says:

      That’s what the open threads are for. You got me started. You owe me about four minutes of my life back. Two from you and two from Mike.

    • forensic says:

      They’ve often said no good comes from political comments, and that was pretty close to it, certainly close enough to expect some shenanigans at some point during the night.

      • I guess I understand that…I’d hate for somebody to disagree with what I said, especially if it was somebody on the board that I like.

        • Knoxvillain says:

          It was getting close I think but not between the two of us. Ah, disagreements are the best part. If there isn’t a disagreement there isn’t a conversation in politics.

          • In my head though what we were talking about wasn’t politics. Let’s not get back into it though, otherwise this will get deleted too. If there is an open thread tomorrow though, be around I’d like to discuss what you meant by something.

            • forensic says:

              Obviously I have no extra insight into it and I’m not saying it was straight up political chatter, that’s just what I related it to. You brought up a political figure and Knox brought up that they should be concentrating on other more important things. Not clear-cut dem-rep type things, I just put it in that same category because of the potential for ugliness with random comments.

              • You misunderstand what I’m saying, to me it wasn’t politics, as in a matter for discussion, with most political matters there is gray area and room for discussion, the topic that we were talking about though I believe it’s just simply right and wrong. There isn’t any middle ground.

                • forensic says:

                  I don’t disagree, I just think it opens potential ugliness with some of the ignoramuses that roam the interwebs. I may just not be phrasing it all correctly.

                  Of course, I could just be talking out of my ass and it may just be that it’s not part of the recap. :-)

                  • No, you phrased it perfectly, I just wanted to get my point across anyway lol. I also understand that the direction the initial thread was going was not one that had anything to do with a game recap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was gone in the morning either lol.

  4. your mom says:

    “Freddy Garcia will have his work cut out for him on Tuesday night when he gets the ball against Felix Hernandez.”

    We can avoid this by trading for Felix and starting him against his former team.


    I still can’t believe we got Ichiro for a couple minor leaguers, with only one of the minor leaguers even having any real chance of being a helpful type player, and that is more of a longshot i think then anything..

    This is teh type of move i always say is good, becasue the yanks need to win now, not next yr, or the yr after, but now.. Ichiro isn’t a big “future” piece, but he certainly mixes in well with the player we all ready have, as hes a slash/linedrve hitter, that can now combine with Jeter and Cano as “hitters” on this team, with the nice mix of power…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Prospects for a veteran has got to be the most common type of MLB trade.

      Ichiro has been terrible for a year and a half. I would have rather kept Mitchell, personally, though I don’t see it as a particularly bad move. Have to give up something to get something.

      Both those guys can contribute in the near future. Mitchell immediately. I don’t think that Ms could have done any better.

      • MannyGeee says:

        bold statement calling Danny Farquar a prospect. DJ Mitchell is ‘sorta’ a prospect, but as we’ve seen and read he projects as a swingman in The Show. The Yankees LITERALLY grow those on trees.

        This is the classic ‘for a bag of balls’ trades that Cashman & Co are amazing at pulling off. See Swisher/Abreu/Nady&Marte, Puma/ Javy Boone Logan

        • jjyank says:

          I agree with the trade, and I agree that DJ Mitchell is a very replaceable piece.

          But let’s be fair regarding your last sentence, Tabata in the Nady/Marte deal was a legit prospect, and Vizcaino for Javy/Logan was also a legit prospect.

          • Cris Pengiucci says:

            Yes, DJ Mitchell is a very replaceable piece. He’s also able to contribute to a team like the M’s immediately and perhaps would have been able to contribute to the Yankees (again) later this season and next.

            Overall, I like the move as the Yankees need someone like Ichiro now and can easily find others within their system or cheaply from the outside to replace him. Seems like a fair deal for both sides.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Disagree completely. I don’t think it was a bad price, but I also don’t think it was a steal. Could work out for both/either side given their situations. I really would have considered just keeping Mitchell, but I don’t know what the trade market is like exactly right now and am ok with Ichiro.

          Prospect was said in the context of being surprised at minor leaguers being traded for a vet. Farquar has a change to be a useful BP arm, though. If you can help an MLB team and have little or no MLB experience you are somewhat of a prospect. He’s a borderline relief prospect. Not especially valuable, but it’s something.

          Ichiro isn’t much more than a bag of balls better than Wise at this point, but Mitchell is more than a bag of balls. Not all swingmen are equally effective. I think Mitchell had a good shot at being an effective one immediately, or a late inning reliever.

          If you think Arodys and Tabata were bags of balls The balls you use must be made of gold. Both top 100 caliber prospects. Mitchell lacks their upside, but has more probability.

    • Knoxvillain says:

      With all due respect to Ichiro, it isn’t 2005, it’s 2012.

  6. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    I think Ichiro is perfect for us. A veteran who would like to win a WS before he is through, going nowhere on a last place team. He batted third for much of this season which was ridiculous. He makes contact, is still fast, has a great arm and is a great baserunner who puts the bat on the ball. Hopefully he will catch fire in the postseason.

    For our team right now he is the perfect fit.

    Phelps is ahead of Mitchell so there was no place for DJ.

    • MannyGeee says:

      batting Ichiro 3rd is more a testiment of how shitty the M’s really are.

      But yeah, perfect trade for the Yankees. he cost nothing, and the expectation is not to be 2005 Ichiro (just catch the ball and hit the ball… and RUN).

  7. Kosmo says:

    I wonder if NY has anything more up its sleeve?

    now on to a finding a reliever and someone to replace Nix.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

      Good thing we don’t need to replace a catcher hitting .178 who is average defensively. We can win with him anyway.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        Ueah, if they could swing a deal for an average (offensively & defensively) cather, I’d prefer that than a replacement for Nix.

  8. Eddard says:

    It’s no surprise that right when we got Ichiro we started winning ballgames again. Cashman is a genius. He recognized the team was slumping and struggled in one run games so he went out and got a guy that can get on base and manufacture a run. He’s also an upgrade defensively over Ibanez and Jones. This will breathe life into the team and breathe life into Ichiro as he’ll want that ring. Great pickup.

  9. Dropped Third says:

    Does anyone else think jack z threw us a bone? They wanted to put Ichiro on a good team due to his realationship with the owner, and jack z said himself he felt bad for the yankees after the two injuries two pineda and campos. The trade wasnt completly lopsided but it wasnt overly fair.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      They had to put him on a good team because he had 10/5 rights to reject any trade.

      I chiro is also an average player at best now, and probably way below average.

      • Evan3457 says:

        I dunno…1.8 fWAR, 1.5 bWAR. On pace for roughly 3 WAR. It’s not great, but it’s probably average or a little better.

  10. Eddard says:

    Now we have one week to get a catcher. It doesn’t really matter who it is as it will probably be an upgrade over a .170 hitter. Cervelli would even be an upgrade but they’ve got him wasting away down in AAA. Cashman needs to get that position solidified before the trade deadline.

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