Let me start by saying: I don’t think it’ll happen. The odds are extremely stacked against him. But, why not, just for fun, take a peek at how stacked those odds are?
Ichiro has a steep hill to trudge up if he’s to reach 200 hits for the 11th consecutive season. He had three hits in last night’s win over Cleveland, including a lead-off homer. These are the sort of nights we’re used to seeing from Ichiro and taking for granted, not viewing as an anomaly.
Is it the start to a patented Ichiro hot streak? Can he turn it up and reach 200 still?
Entering last night’s game, Ichiro needed to average 1.68 hits per game over the team’s final 37 games to reach the mark. Maybe your thoughts of the old Ichiro give you hope when you consider that, but his career average is actually only 1.39 H/G.
Then again, an average is an average because it’s somewhere between your best and worst, right? While running that crazy-low BABIP (62 points below career average) all season, Ichiro has recorded just a touch over one hit per game (1.12).
Based on that, all Ichiro would have to do is spend the rest of this season performing at the levels of previous seasons. Such as: 2001 (.369 BABIP, 1.54 H/G) 2004 (.399, 1.63), 2007 (.389, 1.48), or even as recently as 2009 (.384, 1.54).
No problem, right? If he was able to hit at those clips over a full season (meaning in-season spurts even higher) and very close to that just a season ago, I refuse to believe the possibility doesn’t exist.
Of course, probability is a whole other subject.