The short, easy, and most likely correct answer to that question is No. Obviously. He’s 62 hits away with 37 games to play. At this point, he’d have to average nearly 2 hits per game the rest of the way. I honestly can’t see that happening.
But, that’s no fun! Even if it is kind of a pointless stat, for some reason I can’t help but pull for the guy to accomplish the goal he sets for himself going into every season. And for him to do it in this season, with the way he’s played since the end of April, would probably be the most amazing thing Ichiro has ever done (in a career full of dazzling Ichiro feats).
When I think about it, I always break it down into months. The Mariners have 10 more games in the month of August. Thus far in the month, Ichiro hasn’t been all that bad. He’s only batting .264 over the 18 games, but he’s got 19 hits and has been hitless in only 3 games. What we’re not really seeing are those 4 and 5 hit games that Ichiro is famous for. I’m not gonna lie to you, a few of those in the next couple weeks would go a long way.
But, as it stands, he’s got 10 games in the month. If he can somehow find a way to get 15 hits in the next 10 games, that would put him up to 153 with the entire month of September to go. Now, I know, 47 hits, that’s asking a lot of a guy whose best month in 2011 has only seen him get 39 hits. But, looking over Ichiro’s career, he’s gotten in the upper 40s in monthly hits on numerous occasions. Hell, even last year, in his final 30 games he got 45 hits.
This is do-able! Yeah, it’s easy to just poo-poo this whole argument and say there’s no way Ichiro’s getting to 200, but I’m not ready to make that declarative statement yet. I’ve seen Ichiro do too many amazing things in his career to start doubting him now. Hell, in 2009 we thought it would be damn near impossible for him to get to 200 when he started the season on the DL with that ulcer. What did he do? 225 hits in 146 games.
I think he can do it. His August batting average might be pretty pedestrian, but I see him coming out of this season-long funk. It’s now or never. Ichiro needs an extended hot streak to close out this season, or else the run of 200-hit seasons will be over. Probably forever.