May 22, 2009
Mauer is such a great hitter that batting .417 or getting on base at a .500 clip during a 19-game stretch shouldn't surprise anyone, but eight homers and five doubles in 72 at-bats is totally unexpected even without considering that he missed April with an injury. He hasn't abandoned his patient approach at the plate and isn't suddenly pulling the ball consistently. He's still taking tons of pitches and going the the other way with most of the balls he hits, but the fly balls just seem to be traveling a little further.
I'm not sure how to explain it and have no idea whether it'll last, but holy shit has Mauer been amazing. At .417/.500/.819 he'd be leading all of baseball in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage with enough plate appearances to qualify and he has one homer per 9.0 at-bats after going deep once every 46.8 at-bats coming into the season. Plus, Ron Gardenhire may even leave him in the No. 2 spot that I've been advocating for years now after the 20-run outburst with Mauer there yesterday.
UPDATE: Just posted a lengthy entry about Mauer over at the NBCSports.com blog.
Unless the video has been doctored somehow, I'm not sure how anyone could watch that and call the crowd's reaction "a mixture of uneasy laughs and the occasional gasp." Seems more like he killed for the better part of six straight minutes, got a ton of big laughs throughout, and was basically hilarious.
I'm cautiously optimistic, because the original material is so amazing and Viggo Mortensen strikes me as a good choice to play the lead role, but an I Am Legend-style disappointment wouldn't surprise me. Movies straying significantly from the source material when the source material would've made a better movie really bothers me and I Am Legend is the prime example of that recently. Of course, it still ends up hooking me for a half-hour each time I stumble across it on HBO.
- How good would Peavy be away from Petco Park?
- Nationals bullpen providing zero relief
- Eric Chavez is a sneeze away from retirement
- What's wrong with Garrett Atkins?
- Justin Upton is a freak of nature
- Pudge's 300th homer and why catching is hard
- Quarter-season progress report: MIN and WAS
- Quarter-season progress report: BAL and SD
Once you're done here, check out my "Circling The Bases" blog over at NBCSports.com.