Monthly Archives: September 2011

Game 153: 2-for-5 in 12-6 Win at Cleveland

Tony Dejak / AP Photo

At Bats: 5
Runs: 1
Hits, Game/Season: 2/175
Runs Batted In: 1
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 1
Left on Base: 1
Average: .273
Box
Notes: Leadoff single, foul popout, two-RBI double, strikeout, groundout… Nice grab (above)… This makeup of a rained-out May game was called after seven innings.
Next: Game 154 at Minnesota, 5:10 Tuesday… Needs 25 hits in final nine games to reach 200.

It Was Two Years Ago Today: Walk-Off Homer Off Mariano Rivera

A game-winning, two-out, two-run, come-from-behind home run, probably his greatest as a Mariner. It beat the greatest closer of all time and his stupid Skankees, who went on to win the ’09 World Series anyhow. I was listening to Niehaus’s call as it happened. More fan videos…

Side note: There was some debate as to whether he did The Komanechi as he touched the plate.

Game 152: 1-for-4 in 3-0 Loss vs. Texas

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

At Bats: 4
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 1/173
Runs Batted In: 0
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 1
Left on Base: 0
Average: .272
Box
Notes: Reached on error, groundout, strikeout (above), single.
Next: Game 153 at Cleveland, 1:05 Monday… It’s a makeup of the rained-out May 15 game… Needs 27 hits in final 10 games to reach 200.

Ichiro on TV: Furuhata Ninzaburō

Ichiro played a fictional version of himself on the January 4, 2006 episode of Furuhata Ninzaburō, a popular Fuju TV police detective drama. I can’t find any clips other than the intro…

In the episode, Ichiro kills a guy who blackmailed his older brother. Here are a couple screen shots…

The show inspired this bit of fan art

And some comics (I lost track of where the first one came from, but I found the second one here)…

The detective looks like a Japanese Richard Lewis.

Game 151: 2-for-4 in 7-6 Loss vs. Texas

Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

At Bats: 4
Runs: 1
Hits, Game/Season: 2/172
Runs Batted In: 2
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 2
Left on Base: 0
Average: .273
Box
Notes: Single, single, strikeout, strikeout… Scored 75th run of the year (above) and drove in 42nd and 43rd runs.
Next: Game 152 vs. Texas, 1:10 Sunday… Needs 28 hits in final 11 games to reach 200.

eBay Alert: Orix-Era Asics Poster


Link.

Game 150: 0-for-3 in 4-0 Win vs. Texas

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

At Bats: 3
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 0/170
Runs Batted In: 0
Walks: 1
Strikeouts: 0
Left on Base: 1
Average: .271
Box
Notes: Lineout, lineout, walk, groundout.
Next: Game 151 vs. Texas, 4:10 Saturday… Needs 30 hits in final 12 games to reach 200.

Baseball Card of the Week: Bowman #BDPW1

Throwback Thursday: 1995 Seattle Mariners

June 5, 2010: 2-for-3 in 11-2 loss vs. Los Angeles.

Game 149: 0-for-3 in 2-1 Win vs. New York

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

At Bats: 3
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 0/170
Runs Batted In: 0
Walks: 2
Strikeouts: 0
Left on Base: 2
Average: .272
Box
Notes: Ground out, grounded into double play, flyout, two intentional walks… Stole 40th base of the season.
Next: Game 150 vs. Texas, 7:10 Friday… Needs 30 hits in final 13 games to reach 200.

Ichiro Pocket Schedule: 2011

There are also versions in Cambodian, English, and Vietnamese… See my entire collection of Mariners pocket schedules on flickr.

Game 148: 1-for-5 in 3-2 Loss vs. New York

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

At Bats: 5
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 1/170
Runs Batted In: 0
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 2
Left on Base: 1
Average: .274
Box
Notes: Strikeout, groundout, groundout, strikeout, single, caught stealing for the game’s final out.
Next: Game 149 vs. New York, 7:10 Wednesday… Needs 30 hits in final 14 games to reach 200.

Ichiro Art #25

Here are Ichiro and noted pornography enthusiast Hideki Matsui rendered in corrugated cardboard.

Found here.

Game 147: 1-for-5 in 9-3 Loss vs. New York

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

At Bats: 5
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 1/169
Runs Batted In: 1
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 1
Left on Base: 1
Average: .274
Box
Notes: Flyout, RBI single (above), flyout, strikeout, groundout… When he hit the single to right, the out-of-town scoreboard flashed “ICHI-ROPE.”
Next: Game 148 vs. New York, 7:10 Wednesday… Needs 31 hits in final 15 games to reach 200.

World Baseball Classic: 2009

As he did in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, Ichiro again played for Team Japan in the second WBC, held in March 2009.

In the first round, played in the Tokyo Dome, Japan beat China and and split a pair of games with Korea. In the second round, played at San Diego’s Petco Park, Japan twice shut out Cuba (who they previously beat in the ’06 WBC final), and again split a pair of games with Korea. In the semifinals, at Dodger Stadium, Japan beat the U.S. 9-4, and in the final game, again at Chavez Ravine, Japan faced off against rival Korea once more.

The Korean hostility directed at Ichiro during the ’06 WBC only seemed to escalate in ’09. A Facebook group called I HATE ICHIRO was created, boasting well over 500 members. Similar hateful garbage was posted here, here, and here, and some even sold Dr. Bong “Assassination of Ichiro” T-shirts. Topping it off is this “Ichiro is LOSER” video, in which his head gets chopped in half…

Yeesh. Of course I don’t condone any of this nasty stuff, but the all-things-Ichiro nature of this blog necessitates its inclusion. Moving on…

Ichiro batted a measly .167 in the WBC before breaking out against Korea in the final. He went 4-for-6 ,with a key extra-inning hit that secured Japan’s second WBC title. In the top of the tenth, with two out and the game tied at three, Ichiro’s tense, eight-pitch at-bat resulted in a two-run single that put Japan ahead for good. The historic hit…

The final score was 5-3, and Daisuke Matsuzaka was again named the WBC MVP. Ichiro hoists the trophy…

…displays his medal…

…and celebrates in the clubhouse…

Unfortunately, the stress of defending Japan’s WBC title resulted in suffering “severe fatigue caused by a bleeding ulcer.” The Mariners placed him on the DL for the first time in his Major League career, and he missed the first nine games of the ’09 season.

Hopefully he’ll be more relaxed for the third World Baseball Classic, scheduled for March 2013. Ichiro will be 39.

Game 146: 1-for-4 in 2-1 Loss vs. Kansas City


At Bats: 4
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 1/168
Runs Batted In: 1
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 0
Left on Base: 0
Average: .275
Box
Notes: Flyout, groundout, groundout, and RBI double, driving in Seattle’s only run… Before today’s game was a ten-year 9/11 remembrance, so Ichiro and the rest of the M’s wore flag patches on the back of their jerseys, as they did at the end of the 2001 season (see photo in post below).
Next: Game 147 vs. New York, 7:10 Monday… It’s yet another Ichiro T-shirt night — the third this season — for the first 15,000 fans… Needs 32 hits in final 16 games to reach 200.

Ichiro and 9/11

The Mariners were in Anaheim on September 11, 2001. Said Ichiro…

The game that day was cancelled, as was the next day’s game, which was the final game of the series. All I could do was rest back at the hotel, since there was no way to get back to Seattle. No planes were flying out of Los Angeles, so they decided to take us by bus to Sacramento. But everything was so confused we didn’t know if there’d be any planes flying out of Sacramento or not. In the end we found out we’d be able to leave from L.A. in a few days, so we flew back to Seattle from there.

Added Yumiko, Ichiro’s wife…

That’s one of the trips a lot of the wives went on because they were likely to clinch the [American League West] division title during that series, so I happened to be there, too. I would have worried if we hadn’t been together. It was a relief we were together. Our magic number for clinching the division title was two, but the team was resigned to the season ending right then and there. For the rest of my life I’ll remember the shock I felt when I saw the World Trade Center on TV.

The season resumed on September 18 (when the above photo was taken), with the Mariners back in Seattle. Ichiro again…

To me, that game a week after the attack wasn’t even like a game in the pennant race. It meant something far more significant: that baseball had returned to America. It went way beyond winning and losing… I could feel up close the unexpected unity Americans showed after the terrorist attacks of September 11. I never would have experienced that had I not been part of the major leagues.

The M’s clinched the American League West the following night.

Quotes taken from Ichiro on Ichiro: Conversations with Narumi Komatsu (Sasquatch, 2004).

Game 145: 0-for-4 in 4-2 Loss vs. Kansas City

Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

At Bats: 4
Runs: 0
Hits, Game/Season: 0/167
Runs Batted In: 0
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 3
Left on Base: 0
Average: .275
Box
Notes: Lineout, followed by three strikeouts… Tonight at Safeco Field was Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night, so Ichiro and the rest of the M’s wore “Marineros” jerseys…

Next: Game 147 vs. Kansas City, 1:10 Sunday… Needs 33 hits in final 17 games to reach 200.

Ichiro Comics #11

Back in Ichiro Comics #4 we looked at issue #2 of 2 of Mariners Mojo, a free comic distributed at Seattle-area McDonald’s in 2002. In today’s mail came issue #1, which I recently scored on eBay. It opens with Ichiro hitting a walk-off grand slam…

But a sinkhole opens just as Ichiro touches home plate, and he falls in. Turns out that a Bigfoot society has been living in tunnels under Seattle, and they aim to overtake the city. However, Ichiro and his ’02 teammates use their “Mariners Mojo” to subdue the creatures, who then get locked up by the SPD. The story concludes in issue #2, where man and beast learn to live together in harmony. It’s total cornball kids’ stuff, but I do love the Bigfoot connection. Here’s what #1’s cover looks like…

Game 144: 4-for-5 in 7-3 Win vs. Kansas City

Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images

At Bats: 5
Runs: 1
Hits, Game/Season: 4/167
Runs Batted In: 2
Walks: 0
Strikeouts: 0
Left on Base: 0
Average: .277
Box
Notes: Single, home run, single, groundout, single… Hit second homer in as many games, after hitting only three in his first 141 games of the season… Stole two bases for second consecutive game as well (numbers 38 and 39 on the year)… Third four-hit game of the season.
Next: Game 145 vs. Kansas City, 7:10 Saturday… Needs 33 hits in final 18 games to reach 200.