They do still have Ichiro Suzuki, however. And while he, too, looks increasingly like the fading player the Mariners dealt to the Yankees last July, and not the in-prime star he once was, Suzuki is still smart and fast enough to win a game by himself with his legs, as he did on Sunday. He bailed out Rivera by singling, punching the ball into left-center field in timeless Ichiro style. Then he stole second, tagged up and took third on a flyout, and trotted in on a wild pitch to end the game.
For one moment, anyhow, the star system, stripped of new talent and fallback plans, had functioned as it always did. Ichiro stole his 20th base, something he’s done in each of his first 13 seasons. Only Rickey Henderson and Ozzie Smith maintained such consistency without exception. And he reached base twice for the third time in four games.
“If I had an opportunity, I wanted to take it,” Suzuki said after the game. “I wasn’t going to go crazy and do something that wasn’t there. It wasn’t anything special. I just took what was there.”
The Yankees, though, really didn’t. Now they have 19 games left to make the playoffs anyhow, starting Monday against the Orioles. Had they won any of the three games in which they scored eight runs or more this weekend, they’d be ahead of the Orioles. Instead, they’re a half game behind.
They’ll probably be trying without Rivera Monday night, after he threw 35 pitches on Sunday. They’ll be without Jeter, nursing that ankle injury. Rodriguez is stil around and hitting, though, Ichiro is still running, and the Yankees, incredibly after a disaster of a weekend, still have a chance.
Posted: September 09, 2013 at 03:40 PM | 8 comment(s)
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