It took 294 at-bats, but Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has at long last hit a home run. His last, prior to tonight, occurred on August 30 last season against the Orioles.
The Yankees were trailing the Blue Jays 4-3 in the bottom of the third, but were threatening, putting runners on first and second with one out against Mark Buehrle. Ichiro waited on a 1-1 curveball and slugged it just over the fence in right field for a three-run blast, putting the Yankees up 6-4.
The power has otherwise been few and far between for Ichiro this season, as he entered the night with a meager .278/.328/.314 slash line with 11 RBI and six stolen bases in 243 plate appearances.
Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.
Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.
The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.