Now, his Mariners have as many wins as it did all of last season, following their biggest rout of the Yankees in eight years.
"This year, I like to enjoy some Japanese beer - the right way," Suzuki said.
Suzuki had two hits and two RBI, Jose Lopez had three hits with three RBI and the Mariners beat New York 10-3, ending the Yankees' five-game winning streak and handing Joba Chamberlain his first loss in two months.
Seattle (61-57) is six games behind AL wild card-leading Texas after its biggest win over the Yankees since a 10-2 victory Aug. 19, 2001.
When asked what it means to win No. 61 in Game 118, as opposed to the final game of last season, Suzuki smiled.
"I think, man, we lost a lot of games last year," Suzuki said through an interpreter. "We also have a lot better human beings on this team."
One is Doug Fister. The 6-foot-6 right-hander with a fastball barely above 90 mph towered over the team with baseball's best record in his second major league start, allowing three runs in seven innings for his first big league win.
Not bad for a guy who began this season at Double-A West Tennessee. He said he was well aware of the Yankees' mystique while pitching in front of his father, girlfriend and two sisters from Merced, Calif.
"But when it comes time to go to work and make pitches, it's another hitter in the box," he said after getting a shower of ice cold beer from teammates.
Fister was so far down Seattle's list of prospects that Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu never heard of him until spring turned to summer.
"Outstanding," Wakamatsu said, gushing over then 25-year-old's composure in escaping jams in the sixth and seventh innings. "This guy's really got a great feel for pitching."
New York lost for the second time in 14 games but remained 7½ ahead of Boston in the AL East. The Yankees' season-long, 10-game trip continues Monday at Oakland.
One their few bright spots was Derek Jeter. He passed Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for most hits by a shortstop in the third inning, when he fought off a pitch near his fists for an opposite-field double that scored Ramiro Pena. His 2,674th hit as a shortstop came two innings after he led off the game with a single.
"It's still kind of hard to believe, to say the least," Jeter said.
He was 8 for 16 in the four-game series. He also has 13 hits as a designated hitter in his career. Jeter's 2,688 hits are second in Yankees history, 33 behind Lou Gehrig.
The Mariners were the AL's lowest-scoring team after getting just 11 runs in six games entering Sunday. But they scored five times in the seventh to break open a 4-3 game. With the bases loaded and one out, Alfredo Aceves hit No. 9 batter Josh Wilson in the back to force in a run. Suzuki greeted Chad Gaudin with a two-run single and Russell Branyan drove in Wilson with a base hit to make it 8-3. Lopez capped the burst with an RBI double.
Aceves, pitching for the first time since throwing four innings last Monday, allowed a season high-tying four runs in 1 2/3 innings. He hit two batters.
Seattle scored two runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Franklin Gutierrez and Jack Hannahan had consecutive two-out RBI singles against Chamberlain (8-3), who was pitching three days earlier than he expected to yet still had a 97 mph fastball.
The Yankees, guarding Chamberlain's health, had pushed back his start to Wednesday before deciding to throw him on regular rest and then give him an extended break. The 23-year-old's next start will be Aug. 25 against Texas.
"I didn't think I was going to start, and you kind of shut it down mentally," Chamberlain said.
Fister (1-0) learned a lesson of life in the major leagues in the fourth inning. With a man on and the count 3-0 to Nick Swisher, Fister grooved a batting practice-like 85 mph pitch over the heart of the plate. Swisher hit it beyond the shrubs in dead center field for his 20th home run, giving New York a 3-2 lead.
- New Yankee Stadium may be overly generous in giving up home runs, but 17 of Swisher's homers have been on the road.