Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki recently tied and surpassed Ty Cobb for second on the unofficial professional hits leaderboard. He entered Saturday’s game against the Phillies with 2,923 hits in the major leagues, leaving him 77 hits shy of another major milestone — 3,000 MLB hits.
The Marlins would be open to the 41-year-old returning to the team for the 2016 season to join the 3,000 hit club, Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Ichiro is on pace to finish with 105 hits, which would mean 26 more hits between now and the end of the season, putting him at 2,949. Assuming he would hit somewhere in the .250-.270 area with enough at-bats, he would likely claim his 3,000th hit during the first half of the season.
Ichiro carried a .265/.317/.326 batting line with one home run, 20 RBI, and 36 runs into Saturday night’s game. He signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Marlins in January and went into the season as a back-up outfielder. A combination of injuries and poor performance led to Ichiro getting much more playing time than initially anticipated.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.