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Ichiro Suzuki: Why It Still Isn't Time to Worry

SEATTLE - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners singles against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Safeco Field on June 14, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Alex CarsonCorrespondent IIIJune 14, 2011

Ichiro Suzuki has four consecutive multi-hit games after a day off last week, getting his first rest in some time.

Still, there have been a few ugly swings and the torch-wielding folks are threatening to poke him with their pitch forks.

I’ve largely ignored these things, having come to terms with the fact that someday Ichiro won’t get 200 hits in a season. He won’t bat .300, he won’t go to an All-Star Game and he won’t win a Gold Glove.

All four of those things have happened in each of his 10 seasons on this continent, and all four of those things could fail to happen in 2011.

While I am not good at math (see general site caveats) and lack a calculator that can tell me if Ichiro will make the ASG or win a GG, I decided to crunch some numbers as best I could.

Ichiro has averaged the following in each of his 10 big league seasons:

1. 159 Games Played
2. 734 Plate Appearances
3. 224 Hits

This tells you that Ichiro got a hit every 3.28 plate appearances, or 1.41 hits per game.

The Seattle Mariners have played 66 games this season and Ichiro has collected 72 hits. Meaning they will play 96 more games.

Meaning if Ichiro hits at his career averages for the rest of the season, he will collect 135 more hits for a total of 207 on the season.

This also tells you that if Ichiro performs at his career average, he’d finish with a .305 batting average, just squeaking over that magical mark.

Of course, this all assumes that Ichiro is a robot. Someone with no stress back home in Japan these days, someone who isn’t 37 years of age, someone who might not start pressing to reach his goals.

We might be getting close to the point that we should “worry,” but that point isn’t here yet. A patented Ichiro hot streak where he piles up three-hit games over the span of a couple of weeks and we’ll once again wonder if the game of baseball is a markedly different game to Ichiro than it is to us.

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