Wild Start to Game 2 of ALDS

October 8, 2012 – I’m not sure what I should be more impressed with from the first inning of Game 2 of the ALDS  — Robinson Cano’s all-word hitting or Ichiro Suzuki’s determination and over the top cagey play.

After collecting 19 hits in his last 39 regular season at-bats, Cano delivered a two-run double in the top of the ninth in Game 1. That hit drove in two runs and gave the Yankees a 6-2 lead. For all intent and purpose, it put the game on ice.

Well, Cano picked up right where he left off tonight, smashing another double off the right-field wall, and bringing Ichiro to the plate for a wild play.

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters caught the relay throw while Ichiro was still several feet from home plate. From my vantage point in the press box behind home plate, it appeared as Ichiro was going to be out by a mile because the catcher had the ball in his possession and was literally waiting for Ichiro so that he could tag him.

But Ichiro swung his body to the right and avoided the Wieters would-be tag. Amazingly, Ichiro made the catcher miss, and the outfielder quickly dove toward the plate and avoided a second certain tag in the process.

The play underscored how valuable Ichiro is the Yankees. In what could be a close game — and of course an important game — Ichiro produced a run that few, if any, players in the game would have been able to make happen.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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