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The M's Offense & Ichiro's 200


In a manner of speaking, any counting stat is a team accomplishment. Of course, it often takes a lot of individual skill to reach milestones, but if you give major league players enough opportunities, they will succeed enough to do things that we wouldn't expect. The opposite is also true; if a player is injured or otherwise never has the opportunity to do things like drive in runs, he never will.

Ichiro may be denied the opportunity to reach 200 hits this year because of the futility of the Mariner offense.

Ichiro is hitting .309 according to Fangraphs, recording 134 hits in 473 plate appearances and 105 games. That average is pretty low for Ichiro, though not unheard of -- he hit .303 in 2005, just a season after breaking George Sisler's record for hits in a season. To break it down, in 2005 he had 206 hits in 162 games and 739 PA's.

2005 basically represents the line that Ichiro must pass in order to get to 200 hits, and he collected hits in 27.9% of his plate appearances. He's actually doing better than that in 2010, getting hits in 28.3% of PA's this season.

However, the lineup turned over more in 2005, as he got up to bat 4.56 times per game. This season he's coming up to bat 4.50 times per game.

To put this in some perspective, take a look at last season. Last year's offense allowed Ichiro to come up to the play 4.64 times per game. If Ichiro were to hit at his current rate and have that many times up per game, he'd reach 212 hits. As it is, he's only on pace for 206, and between how Ichiro has looked at the plate and how ineffective the Mariners offense has been over the last road trip, that seems pretty optimistic.

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