New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending September 23rd. This marks Ichiro’s fourth career weekly honor and his first as a Yankee. He last garnered the award for the period ending September 26, 2010 with the Seattle Mariners. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Suzuki batted .600 (15-for-25) with three doubles, two home runs, five RBI, seven runs scored and six stolen bases in six games. Among Major League leaders, the 12-year veteran led all players in batting average, hits, steals and on-base percentage (.630), was tied for second in total bases (24) and was third in slugging percentage (.960). Suzuki was tied for fourth in the A.L. in runs scored.
Ichiro helped New York’s bid for a fourth consecutive Postseason with an impressive pair of performances on Wednesday in a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. In the opening tilt, Suzuki had a double among three hits and scored two runs as the Yanks defeated the Blue Jays, 4-2. The 38-year-old carried his hot bat over to the nightcap with a perfect 4-for-4 showing at the plate, including a double, a go-ahead RBI-single in the eighth inning and a career-high-tying four stolen bases as the Yankees edged the Jays, 2-1. It was the second time in his career in which the Japanese native collected at least four hits and four stolen bases in a single game (previously accomplished on July 20, 2004 against Boston). Additionally, he is first player in the Majors to notch the feat since Julio Borbon of the Texas Rangers on August 15, 2009 and is the first Yankee to do so since Rickey Henderson (five hits, four stolen bases) on April 11, 1988. It also marked the first time that Ichiro recorded at least three hits in each game of a doubleheader and he became just the seventh Yankee to do so since 1969 (last accomplished by Derek Jeter in 2008). After going 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored in a 10-7 win over the Jays on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep, Ichiro helped lead the Yankees to their seventh straight win on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with two walks, a solo homer and three runs scored as New York defeated the Oakland Athletics, 10-9, in a 14-inning marathon in the Bronx. The win helped the Yankees maintain a one-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in a tight race for the A.L. East crown.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera (.346, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI); Tampa Bay’s Jeff Keppinger (.440, 11 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI); Cleveland’s Carlos Santana (.308, 3 HR, 8 RBI); and Detroit’s Doug Fister (shutout at the Chicago White Sox on September 22nd).