The Juice: Ichiro’s a winner in Yankees debut, Mets bullpen implodes in extras for second straight day

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.

Sayonara, Seattle (Pt. 1): So far, so good when it comes to Ichiro's plan to play out the season for a winner. The 38-year-old right fielder went 1 for 4 with a stolen base as his new team, the New York Yankees, managed a 4-1 win over the only team he had ever known before Monday, the Seattle Mariners. While the victory snapped a four-game losing skid for the Yankees and featured another stellar performance from starter Hiroki Kuroda (seven innings, nine strikeouts), the night at Safeco Field was all about Ichiro and his short walk that had him leaving one of the worst teams in baseball to join one of the best. The extreme juxtaposition will also be on display the next two nights as the two teams finish their series. 

''I am going from a team with the most losses to a team with the most wins,'' Ichiro told reporters. ''It's hard to contain my excitement for that reason.''

Ichiro received a 45-second standing ovation from the crowd before his first at-bat, which harbored no ill will toward their icon's request for a new location. The swap produced a couple of interesting tidbits. Before Monday, Ichiro had never started a game batting anywhere lower than third (he batted eighth for the Yankees) and his third-inning single off Mariners pitcher Kevin Millwood gave him a hit against all 30 major-league teams.

Same old story for Mets: Seriously, this is getting past the point of self parody for Mets relievers. The worst bullpen in baseball surrendered six runs to Washington in the top of the 10th on Monday night, allowing Bryce Harper and the Nationals to walk away with an 8-2 win at Citi Field. Combine Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Dodgers in 12 innings and the Mets have lost consecutive extra-inning games by five or more runs for the first time in franchise history. They've also lost 10 of 11 games and trail first-place Washington in the NL East by 9.5 games.

SoFla Showcase: The Marlins could field calls on Josh Johnson over the next week before the trading deadline and the big right-hander gave callers something good to remember on Monday night. Johnson pitched six scoreless innings in a 2-1 win over Atlanta while wielding what Chipper Jones deemed as "no-hit stuff, if not perfect-game stuff." Ozzie Guillen's continued coddling of the injury-prone pitcher allowed the Braves an opportunity to attack the Marlins bullpen, but four relievers combined to shut Atlanta down.

Home is where the Halos are: Kendrys Morales' bases-clearing single in the eighth inning broke a late tie and lifted the Angels to a 6-3 win over Kansas City in Anaheim. Mike Trout scored earlier in the game, lifting his streak of consecutive games with a run scored to 15. Three more and he'll tie the American League record set by Red Rolfe in 1939 and Kenny Lofton in 2000.

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Quote of the Day

''That was the longest nine-inning game that I've played in a long time. If you're going to play that long, you might as well win.''

— Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker after the Reds took three hours and 56 minutes to seal an 8-3 victory over Houston. The two teams combined for 28 hits.

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Photo of the Day: And you thought planking as a fad had died ...

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Three facts for the water cooler

• The Phillies had been 0 for 42 when trailing after eight innings this season. That changed on Monday night as they managed four runs off Milwaukee closer Francisco Rodriguez for a 7-6 walkoff win at Citizens Bank Park.

• The Dodgers have won eight straight games over the Cardinals, a streak that started on April 17, 2011 and continued with Monday's 5-3 victory at Busch Stadium.

• Jonathan Sanchez is just as bad a pitcher in Colorado as he was in Kansas City. He gave up five runs on six hits and four walks in his first start for the Rockies as Colorado fell to Arizona, 6-3.

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