Baseball Milestones Reached
The 2010 baseball season got its first 50 home run hitter and 200 hit player in the same game this week. In Thursday’s 1-0 Blue Jays win over the Seattle Mariners in Toronto, Jays outfielder Jose Bautista hit his 50th home run and Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki reached the 200-hit mark on the season. Bautista connected off of Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez in the first inning for his 50th round-tripper of the year. It ended up being the only run of the game. Bautista leads the major leagues in home runs this season, with the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols the only other player who has even hit 40 longballs this year. Bautista is the first player to reach 50 home runs in a season since 2007, when Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder hit 50 and the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hit 54.
In the same game Thursday, Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki singled up the middle in the fifth inning for his 200th hit of 2010, marking the 10th straight season the Japanese star has reached the milestone. The 36-year-old Suzuki, who set the big league record of nine consecutive 200-hit seasons last year, matched Pete Rose’s all-time mark of 10 seasons with 200-plus hits. Rose accomplished his feat from 1965-1979, but never had more than three straight years of reaching the 200-hit plateau. Suzuki has led the majors in hits the last four seasons and six times in his career. He’s on pace to lead the league again this year. In 2004, Ichiro set the all-time single season record with 262 hits.