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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

June 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Mariners need an extended Ichiro streak for now and forever

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Not going to waste any more time discussing this Mariners offense today. Ichiro is about the only guy worth talking about this morning and so that’s what I’ll do. Ichiro has now tied his own franchise record with a 25-game hitting streak and that’s a pretty fantastic accomplishment. As of right now in major lerague history, no other player currently sits tied with himself atop his franchise leaderboard when it comes to hitting streaks.
Ichiro is doing it with squib singles and he’s doing it with power. More power lately than he’s traditionally shown throughout his career and believe me, this team needs any power it can get. In other words, the Mariners need him to keep right on hitting.
Not only for this season, either. For all the good hitters this Mariners franchise has seen pass through the Emerald City — think Ken Griffey Jr., , Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone and now Ichiro — the franchise mark for a hitting streak is not exactly lighting up any major league leaderboards.
Until last night, only the Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays had worse team marks as far as hitting streaks go. The Rays set theirs back in their first season when Quinton McCracken — remember him? — put an 18-gamer together. Colorado had a 23-gamer from Dante Bichette in 1995. Now, Bichette was a feared hitter in his day. But mentioning him in the same breath as Ichiro doesn’t quite seem right.
Ichiro’s streak of 25 now ties Seattle with the Oakland Athletics, who got a 25-game streak from Jason Giambi in 1997. But that’s pretty much it. Now, I don’t want to minimize how difficult it is putting together a hitting streak of 25 or more games. There’s a reason many think Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game streak, the all-time record, will never be touched. But I mean, heck, the Phillies have seen two guys, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, put streaks of 38 and 35 games together within the last four years. Rollins had a 36-gamer in 2005, then carried it over for two games in 2006 for a 38-game total that remains the highest we’ve seen since Paul Molitor had a 39-gamer in 1987 for the Brewers.
Back in 1999, I covered a team-record 28-game streak by Shawn Green in Toronto, then, shortly after, watched Shannon Stewart put up a 26-gamer. When Stewart’s streak ended, I was the only media member who even noticed and went up to Stewart to do a story on him about it. His father, Harold, was so happy I’d noticed that he even telephoned me from Miami to thank me, then wondered why no one else seemed to care. Stewart was a quiet guy, was about all I could come up with as an explanation. I don’t speak for the entire press corps of a city, nor am I responsible for their combined actions, but I’m still astounded something like that could happen.
And that streak is one better than the current Seattle franchise record.
Certainly, Ichiro can help the M’s build their own franchise streak to something a little higher up the MLB leaderboard. No reason to believe it can’t happen.
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One thing Ichiro has done the last three games is get the hits out of the way early. He has notched hits his first time up each time. We’ll see what happens tonight. It goes without saying, the deeper you go in a game without a hit, the more the pressure mounts. Do you think Ichiro isn’t aware of this streak? Of course he is. He’s quite conscious of baseball history and his place in it.
HITTING STREAK RECORDS BY TEAM
Yankees — 56
Reds — 44
Orioles — 44
Tigers — 40
Brewers — 39
Phillies — 36 (+2)
Marlins — 35
Padres — 34
Red Sox — 34
Cardinals — 33
Braves — 31
Twins — 31
Dodgers — 31
Indians — 31
Nationals — 30
Mets — 30
Astros — 30
Diamondbacks — 30
Cubs — 30
Royals — 30
Blue Jays — 28
Angels — 28
Rangers — 28
White Sox — 27
Pirates 27
Giants — 26
Mariners — 25
Athletics — 25
Rockies — 23
Rays — 18

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