October 12, 2012 — With all the ups and downs of this ALDS, Ichiro has been forgotten.
Ichiro hasn’t struggled to the extent of some Yankees hitters, but he hasn’t collected any game-winning home runs like Raul Ibanez has and he hasn’t matched the heroics of every Yankees starter in this series.
But Ichiro has quietly made some significant contributions in the ALDS. in game 1, he collected an RBI double in the top of the first that gave the Yankees an early 1-0 lead and set the tone for the night. Later in that game, Ichiro delivered an RBI single that gave the Yankees a two-run lead in the ninth inning and kept a six-run rally alive.
In Game 2, Ichiro scored a first-inning run on what was one of the great plays of the season. Ichiro, who was on first base when Robinson Cano hit a double to the right field, should have been tagged out at home. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters had the ball while Ichiro was several steps from the dish, but the Yankees left fielder ran around the first tag and dove toward the plate, avoiding a second would-be tag.
In the sixth inning of Game 5, Ichiro smashed a double to deep center field that scored Derek Jeter, giving the Yankees a 2-0 late game lead.
He many not have a large number of hits in his first postseason series since 2001, but he’s had some big ones.
–Alfred Santasiere III