The baseball prodigy from Japan finally got to take the mound for the first time in his fifteen year major league career tonight during the final game of the 2015 regular season game. In fact, pitching in a Major League game was one of his baseball bucket lists as he said during an interview with the New York Times in 2014.
"I would be happy to help if they need me," he said, his eyes brightening at the prospect of it. Suzuki pitched to one batter in the 1996 Japan All-Star Game, and with his free-and-easy delivery, he induced a ground ball for an out from a pitcher. Suzuki has two strong pitches. "Fastball and slider," he said with pride. "But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter."
Well, he finally achieved that dream in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Marlins trailed 6-2 to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The first batter he faced, Odubel Herrera, hit a double to right field, but Ichiro quickly got the next batter, Cameron Rupp, to fly out.
Then, Sweeny hit a double to bring in Herrera. But Ichiro kept his cool and got a groundout from Freddy Galvis.
He finished the inning with a popup to left field by Aaron Altherr.
Not a bad outing for his first time pitching in the Major League!
Also check out this nasty slider the had Galvis swinging.
The future Hall of Famer, who made his MLB debut in 2001, had accumulated 2935 hits, ten Gold Gloves, and 498 steals.
Ichiro can now add 1.0 Inning(s) Pitched and an ERA of 9.00 to his career stats!
Here's a little bonus when Ichiro made his first pitching debut during the Japanese All-Star Games in 1996.