The Mariners have been a pretty sad bunch of late, but they're still providing some reasons to watch their games. Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard have been mostly masterful, Jason Vargas is off to a terrific start, and Franklin Gutierrez is covering more grass than John Deere. But the undisputed star of the season has been Ichiro, who is presently on a 21-game hitting streak and who is on pace for 15 home runs--the most of his MLB career--and 74 infield hits--which would be the most of any player in baseball since 1992. Oh, and the 21-game hitting streak is the seventh 20-plus game hitting streak of his career, putting him in the elite company of Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, and others.
What's even more remarkable is that he's doing this at the age of 35. Baseball players usually peak as hitters at the age of 27; their speed likely peaks earlier. Ichiro has been showing signs of decline the last few years--his power had gone down significantly, and even this year, his success rate on steals--usually just over 80%--now sits at about 2/3. And May and June are typically his hottest months--so maybe he's just in the midst of this season's hot streak and will soon swoon. But if he can keep up anything like this pace, it'll be a remarkable stiff-arm to Father Time.