The newest New York Yankee, Ichiro Suzuki, has a long history of hurting the Boston Red Sox. Not only did Pedro Martinez, in his prime, have a difficult time striking him out, but for nearly three years Ichiro had at least one hit in every game he played against Boston.
Gordon Edes take a deeper look:
BOSTON—Ichiro Suzuki’s first hit off the Red Sox was a broken-bat infield single that went over the head of pitcher Pedro Martinez and died on the grass in front of shortstop Craig Grebeck.
That was on May 1, 2001, when Ichiro was a rookie with the Seattle Mariners and was the only Mariners hitter that Martinez did not strike out that night.
The Red Sox went nearly three full seasons before holding Ichiro without a hit for an entire game. He batted safely in his first 20 games against the Sox, hitting .458 (38 for 83) while successfully stealing on 30 of 39 attempts, before taking an 0 for 4 on Aug. 17, 2003.
On Friday night in Yankee Stadium, Ichiro will play his 100th game against the Sox, first in pinstripes, when the Yankees play Boston for the first time this season in the Bronx. He’s 38 years old now, and figures to be a part-timer for the Bombers, who acquired him from Seattle earlier this week. But while he is not quite the threat he once was, he continues to display a knack for hitting against the Sox.
He has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games against the Red Sox, batting .324 (23 for 71) with 14 runs scored, 9 stolen bases (in 10 attempts), a home run and 3 doubles. And he comes to New York with an incentive: He has never played in a World Series.
To read Edes' full piece, CLICK HERE.