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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Warning: Nay-Saying Follows 

Ichiro, as you're well aware, needs 45 hits in the Mariners' last 31 games to tie George Sisler's 84-year-old single-season record of 257 hits. He's got an excellent chance to break the record, since his seasonal hits per game pace of 1.618, if carried out for the rest of the season, would put him at 262. I'm not counting him out, of course, but he's far from the lock that Baseball Tonight or Sportscenter would make him out to be.

Ichiro's "September Slides" have been well documented in the first three years of his career. He's a career .290/.336/.404 (AVG/OBP/SLG) hitter in the months of September and October (playoffs notwithstanding), with just 1.10 hits/game, compared to .328/.374/.440 and 1.36 hits/game over his whole career. Factoring in his career 19 percent decline in hits per game, Ichiro's "Adjusted Pace" is for a mere 253 hits, four shy of Sisler '20.

Needless to say, if Ichiro maintains his hot streak for a few more games, his adjusted pace will soon surpass Sisler's total. Then I'll say he'll probably get the record.

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