CHICAGO – Seiya Suzuki hasn’t stopped producing since making his Cubs debut this season.
During Monday’s 4-2 win over the Rays, Suzuki reached base three more times in bitterly cold weather at Wrigley Field. The rookie had two hits, making more history along the way.
• Suzuki’s nine-game hitting streak is the longest by a Cubs hitter starting his major league career since Andy Pafki had a nine-game hitting streak for the team in 1943.
• His nine-hit streak also ties him with Akinori Iwamura (2007, Rays) for the longest by a Japanese-born player entering the major leagues.
• Suzuki joined Art Williams (1902), Hal Jeffcoat (1948) and Tony Taylor (1958) as the only Cubs since 1901 with a 10-game on-base streak (not counting chances in which they reached on error) to start. his time in MLB.
In eight of the nine games Suzuki has started, he has reached base at least twice. On Friday against the Rockies he pinch-hit and walked during his only trip to the plate. That kept alive the chain of commitments of him hitting.
Suzuki was named NL Player of the Week Monday morning, and then he took the field and improved his offensive line this season to .429/.564/.929 in 39 plate appearances. He has four home runs (two to his side and two to the opposite side), nine runs scored and as many walks (nine) as strikeouts.
“It’s awesome,” Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks said. “Each shift. It does not give any turn. Plate discipline from the start. I know that facing a player like this is a headache. Every turn is difficult.”
“You don’t really know where to throw him and then he’s able to make contact anywhere in the zone. He covers everything. It is very difficult to make a game plan and attack a hitter like that.”
And then Hendricks added the obvious: “I’m glad he’s playing for us.”
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Suzuki makes more history with the Cubs