This has been quite the day for the Bronx Bombers. The important thing is that they ended their four game losing streak tonight by defeating the Mariners 4-1 behind the fantastic pitching of Hiroki Kuroda. Another important thing is that Ichiro Suzuki played this game as a Yankee instead of a Mariner. Two important matters to discuss. Actually, the offense tonight is a pretty important matter as well. I'm sure we can squeeze that in the recap somewhere.
It's pretty obvious that Ichiro is the hot topic of the day. Let us discuss his performance tonight. Let us also discuss how really freakin' weird it was to see him playing for us instead of the team he's played for his entire MLB career. Perhaps it's just weird for older fans like me who feel older when things like this happen. So yeah, it was a big day for both teams due to the situation. Ichiro compiled one hit and one stolen base in his first at bat. That pretty much finishes his offensive contributions for the night. His defense was pretty much nominal as well. No spectacular plays or anything. Just the hope that we never see Raul Ibanez in the outfield ever again. That pretty much rounds up the story of Ichiro's first day as a Yankee. More to come this season.
Back to Hiroki Kuroda's fantastic pitching this evening. Kuroda went seven innings and gave up one earned run and three hits while striking out nine and walking one. Now that's the kind of line you like to see after a game. Kuroda has been providing these lines for some time now. He is looking to be another one of Cashman's great pickups of the offseason. Things like this give me confidence that Ichiro will be another great Cashman pickup this year. Regardless, I'm looking forward to Kuroda's next start. Watching him pitch is a pleasure.
Watching the Yankees score runs is also a pleasure. The top of the 4th was very pleasurable. With Kuroda holding the Mariners to one run, the top of the 4th would be all the Yankees would need to win this game. Alex Rodriguez doubled to start the three-run inning. Cano would walk and Teixeira followed up with a Tex-Face double to score A-Rod from second base. Ibanez singled in Cano and Jones would drive in Tex with a single of his own. The game could have been won with a 3-1 score. A-Rod wanted a little insurance for the bullpen though and added an exclamation point to the game with a long bomb to left-center field. Robertson and Soriano finished them off and that's the ballgame.
The Yankees will face the Mariners again tomorrow night.