The Yankees swept a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. They combined for 15 hits in the two games—Ichiro had seven of those hits. Ichiro is now hitting .277 after going an amazing 7-for-8 on the day. He also saved his biggest hit for last, as he drove in the go-ahead run with two out in the bottom of the eighth.
He was not just getting it done at the plate, either; he provided his typical solid defense and also added four stolen bases in the second game.
This is exactly the kind of performance the powerful Yankees lineup needs moving toward the postseason.
The Yankees can pound the long ball better than any team, but with the increased quality in pitching come the postseason, home runs could be few and far between. The Yankees are going to need some in-the-park hits and baserunners, and Ichiro will definitely provide that. And once he gets on base, his speed definitely creates problems for opponents.
Ichiro adds a new dimension for this lineup, and that dimension will help wear down opposing pitchers. The speedy left-hander is now hitting .317 in his 53 games with the Yankees, and he is clearly falling into a groove now.
At 38, Ichiro is not as dominant as he once was, but he still has his amazing hand-eye coordination and is capable of getting on prolonged hot streaks.
Ichiro has not tasted the postseason since his rookie year in 2001, and he is clearly dialing in at the right time. Ichiro is ready for the bright lights, and the New York Yankees will benefit mightily because of it.