In 2001, Ichiro Suzuki's rookie season, the New York Yankees eliminated his Seattle Mariners from the playoffs en route to the World Series. Ichiro batted .421 with five RBI and seven runs scored in 10 games in his first postseason, but has not been back since.
Ichiro has done his part, but the Mariners have not been competitive through his tenure in Seattle, with just four winning seasons since 2001 and no postseason appearances.
Earlier this season, the Yankees acquired Ichiro to strengthen the team's outfield depth and add another quality hitter to a power-hitting lineup for the final stretch of the season while battling for a playoff spot.
Ichiro has flourished in his new environment in pinstripes, hitting .322 with five home runs, 27 RBI, 28 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 67 games, compared to his .261 batting average with four home runs, 28 RBI, and 15 stolen bases in 95 games with the Mariners to start the season.
Though Ichiro's stint in pinstripes has been a success, he started slow with a .272 average in his first 40 games in the Bronx. However, since September 4th, when the Baltimore Orioles tied up the Yankees for the AL East lead, Ichiro has hit .390 with 13 RBI and 10 stolen bases to finish out the final 27 games of the season.
"Playing in September has been tough in the past," Ichiro said. "Coming here, it was a whole new experience."
Another shot at the postseason is what Ichiro has been waiting for since his MVP-winning rookie season. Now, as a member of the Yankees, he finally has his chance.
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