Ichiro Suzuki Makes MLB Pitching Debut at 41

Ichiro Suzuki AP

Ichiro Suzuki boasts 2,935 MLB hits. Other hitters boast two hits off him.

The Miami Marlins outfielder took the mound in the eighth inning for the team’s final game on Sunday. He allowed two hits, both doubles, and a run in an inning pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins dropped the finale 7-2.

Ichiro topped out at an impressive 87 mph but did not always place the ball in the general location of the strike zone.

“I was shocked my fastball wasn’t my best pitch,” he reflected after the game. “I’m never going to say a bad thing about a pitcher again.”

Ichiro long lobbied managers for a chance to pitch, something he experienced in a Japanese all-star game but never, until Sunday afternoon, in the majors. Manager Dan Jennings, a shoo-in to leave the dugout after the year, appeared an ideal candidate to yield to the team’s senior batsman. And the veteran scout who got his first experience as a professional baseball manager this season decided to let the hitter pitch.

Ichiro, presuming Sunday’s stint effort marks his last on the diamond, ends his career with a 9.00 ERA and a .314 batting average. But that presumption seems cavalier. Ichiro, who turns 42 later this month, told friends last year that he intends to play until 50. Surely he seeks redemption in relief.

Despite his .214 2015 batting average, the Marlins appear to want him back. On the mound? Not likely.