Ichiro shows not to test him, gets 100th RF assist
MIAMI -- Even some of the fastest players in the league are learning to run at their own risk on Ichiro Suzuki. Juan Lagares found out the hard way on Saturday night in the Mets' 7-0 win over Miami at Marlins Park.
On a night when the Marlins didn't have much to cheer, Ichiro still showed he has it when it comes to throwing out runners from the outfield.
In the sixth inning, Lagares ripped the ball down the right-field line off reliever Erik Cordier. As the ball skipped into the corner, Lagares was off to the races, feeling he had a great chance at a double. But in a flash, Ichiro retrieved the ball and uncorked a strike to shortstop Miguel Rojas, who was covering second. The speedy Lagares was easily out.
For Ichiro, the play enabled him to reach yet another milestone. It was his 100th assist from right field, and 115th from any outfield spot since he broke in with the Mariners in 2001.
At 41, Ichiro still shows tremendous arm strength.
"He just defies a lot of things that shouldn't happen at his age," manager Dan Jennings said. "But, because of how he prepares every day, he's able to make that play."
From the dugout, the Marlins sensed something special was about to happen when Ichiro was setting to make his throw.
"As soon as Lagares made that turn, it's like, 'Ok, if you're going to test it, you've got a chance to lose,' " Jennings said. "The ball was waiting on him."
Since 2001, only two right fielders have as many as 100 assists -- Ichiro and Jeff Francoeur (123).
Among all outfielders, Ichiro has the third-most total assists since his rookie season. Francoeur has 128, followed by Carlos Beltran (117) and Ichiro.
"He has one of the better arms from the time he's played," Jennings said. "Basically, from the time he arrived in Seattle in '01. He's maintained it. He's worked on it. He goes out every day, he long tosses. Even on off-days, he goes out and does the same thing. He prepares to make those types of plays, and he made it."