That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Ichiro rules. Long live Ichiro. More on that in a minute!
Back in April, Taiwanese rookie Wei-Yin Chen made his major-league debut. It was a tough assignment: the star-studded New York Yankees. And the first batter Chen faced? Superduperstar Derek Jeter.
Jeter hit a home run. Welcome to the Show, kid.
Monday night in Game 2, the first batter Chen faced in his first postseason start was, of course, Derek Jeter. This time, Jeter simply ripped a line-drive single into center field. Ichiro Suzuki came up next, and first baseman Mark Reynolds drubbed Ichiro's trickling ground ball.
And then we had a little controversy! Alex Rodriguez hit a liner up the middle, but Robert Andino was shading Rodriguez up the middle and was able to make a diving grab to his right. Jeter had taken off, and Andino flipped the ball to shortstop J.J. Hardy for an easy double play. Ichiro did scamper back to his base, precluding a triple play.
Which proved REAL big a moment later. Robinson Cano drove a liner into the right-field corner. He hit it so hard, and right fielder Chris Davis's throw so good, that catcher Matt Wieters had Ichiro dead to rights when he tried to score. Out by 10 feet, as they say.
Except Ichiro did this:
The replays were pretty conclusive. Ichiro evaded both of Wieters' tag attempts, and slapped the plate to score the Yankees' first run. Wieters, in fact, never did tag him. Ichiro's done a lot of spectacular things over the years, but I suspect this one winds up on the Top 10 list.
Chen did escape the inning without out giving up any more runs. So after half an inning, the Yankees are up 1-0.