The Baseball Desert

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Ichiro inches closer

Like Barry Bonds approaching Ruth's and Aaron's home run records, the air Ichiro is breathing right now is starting to become more and more rarified. Last night he went 5-for-5 in the Mariners' win over the Angels, giving him 243 for the season, the most hits anyone has had in the major leagues since 1930.

All the focus is on Ichiro trying to break George Sisler's 84-year-old single-season record of 257 hits, but we should also take a minute to look at yesterday's specific achievement, which was Ichiro having his fourth five-hit game of the season. Tony Gwynn, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb and Willie Keeler are the only other players to have accomplished this feat, so Ichiro is in some pretty prestigious company. As for me, I can only sit back and marvel at Ichiro's feats - we haven't quite had the same number of at-bats this year, but I'll be lucky if I have a five-hit season, let alone a five-hit game...