Man on Fire: Minnesota Twins C Joe Mauer
It has been decided: I will be naming my first-born son after Joe Mauer. The three-time batting champion has had back-to-back four-hit nights, and his average is now up to .386. Joseph-Patrick-Mauer-Kanyeezy (I lost a bet) Sannes will be beautiful… and will probably hate his father.
Let’s take a quick ride back to April 6, the start of Mauer’s nine-game hitting streak. He had just finished a 1-5 day with three strikeouts, and his triple slash was .217/.250/.261. Now, just eight games later, those numbers are up to .386/.417/.579.
Mauer has been absolutely unconscious for his last seven games. He is 16-31 (.516) with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI’s. These are beer-league softball numbers minus the drunk first baseman double-fisting Heinekens between innings.
However, this isn’t just some recent fad for Minnesota’s beloved son. Mauer’s four-hit game last night was the 21st of his career. He has had four or more hits in 1.95 percent of his games played. That is a higher percentage than Roberto Clemente (1.9), Tony Gwynn (1.8), Willie Mays (1.5) and Hank Aaron (1.5). Pete Rose edged Mauer at 2.0. Who’s the all-time leader in this category? Another Twins legend, Kirby Puckett, at 2.6 percent. Ichiro is first among active players at 2.54.
In that same vain, Mauer has 356 career multi-hit games in 1078 games played. So, 33 percent of the time that Mauer is in the line-up, he is going to touch you up for two hits. Considering he has only been held hitless 292 times in his career (including 10 games where he recorded no official at bats), that’s pretty depressing for a pitcher.
Mauer currently sits second among active players in batting average at .3232, trailing only Albert Pujols at .3244. He is also fifth among among active players in on-base percentage at .4047 (Todd Helton leads at .4185).
What are the current-day implications of Mauer’s hot streak? It means that Brian Dozier, Pedro Florimon, Aaron Hicks and the Twins revolving door in the lead-off spot is going to see nothing but strikes when they come to the plate. It also means that Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham are going to have a stupid amount of RBI opportunities. Better numbers for them means they look better as trade bait.
The morals of the story: 1) Joe Mauer is the man, 2) questioning that fact may get you put in a wood chipper, 3) my future son is going to get beat up at recess. That whole “my-dad-is-cooler-than-your-dad” thing doesn’t work when your dad is a nerdy sports geek. Oh well.