It's biweekly guest post Thursday, and for today's piece at the Brock & Salk blog, I decided to dig into Ichiro's current struggles and go beyond simple BABIP to see if there's anything there. I may have found something. Well I know I found something. It is easy to find things. I may have found something meaningful. Or I may not have. Who knows? Just when you think you have this crazy world of ours figured out, two baseball teams play each other for 19 innings and the win is given to a middle infielder.
So often, as Mariners fans, we've seen the same thing play out: Ichiro has success out of the leadoff spot, the team struggles around him, and the Mariners lose. We've seen it happen in individual games, and we've seen it happen in full seasons, with a common refrain being that Ichiro deserves a playoff team around him. There's been a sense over the past decade that Ichiro has been too good for the M's.
So 2011 has been a different kind of year. The Mariners have played decent baseball, and they've been particularly excellent of late, but Ichiro has struggled. He has by no means been a disaster, but a Wednesday o'fer dropped his average to .281, and while the M's have gone 16-10 over the past calendar month, Ichiro's hit .255 over the same span of time. Ichiro hasn't looked like himself, and he hasn't played a huge role in the collective winning effort.
You can read the rest of the post over here, and you can also hear me on with Brock and Salk at 11:10am in case you miss hearing what I sound like. I've got a voice so sweet and smooth you can drizzle it on pancakes.