Ichiro says farewell to Seattle
With all the commotion surrounding the sudden and shocking trade of Ichiro Suzuki to the visiting Yankees, the game on Monday almost became an afterthought.
When the game finally did commence, the longtime face of the Mariners franchise came up on the winning side with his new team as the Bronx Bombers beat Seattle, 4-1, at Safeco Field.
The crowd of 29,911 arrived in hopes of seeing the Mariners knock off the Yankees, but once they found out about the trade of Ichiro, who played for the team since 2001, the game also became a salute to the 10-time All-Star.
"During the game, it was kind of rough," said Ichiro of playing as a visitor at Safeco. "Now that it's over, I feel better now."
Ichiro delighted the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation as he walked to the plate for the first time in the third inning, by tipping his helmet and bowing. He brought a greater roar when he singled moments later, eventually stealing second and reaching third before being stranded.
"I figured that the fans were going to give him an ovation, and rightly so, so I just have no part in it," said Mariners starter Kevin Millwood of stepping off the mound to allow Ichiro the recognition. "I just wanted to be out of the way and let it happen and get on with the game."
But Ichiro stayed on everyone's mind throughout the game, even when the Mariners scored. Dustin Ackley walked and then stole second with two outs in the third inning. John Jaso hit a soft ground ball through the right side and Ackley came steaming home, easily beating the throw from Ichiro in right and giving the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
But that was all the Mariners could muster offensively, as Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda limited them to three hits and retired eight straight at one point. After going 5-2 on their latest road trip, the Mariners managed three hits and struck out 12 times, reaching base just once after the third inning.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_07_23_nyamlb_seamlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=sea