BOSTON -- Joe Mauer delivered a signature moment Saturday night, hitting a three-run homer over the Green Monster with the Twins down to their final strike, hoisting the team to a 6-4 victory.
It was Mauer’s third career home run at Fenway Park, and from what I can tell, it was his first one over the Monster. According to his home run log on Baseball-Reference.com, Mauer hit one to right-center field off Bronson Arroyo in 2005 and one to deep right field off Tim Wakefield in 2007.
But I’ve been thinking about Wade Boggs this weekend. With Fenway celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the Red Sox run a graphic during the game showing the all-time hitting leaders in this ballpark. Did you know Boggs was a .369 career hitter at Fenway?
Boggs was a left-handed hitter who loved hitting opposite-field doubles off the Monster. I hate to turn this into a ballpark story, but can you imagine Mauer’s numbers if he called Fenway home?
I hinted at this in the postgame session with Manager Ron Gardenhire and only had room for part of the quote in my game story. Here's his full response:
“I think that’s why Boston would really like to have Joe Mauer here, probably. This wall would probably work out pretty well for him and most lefthanded hitters who are not afraid to stay on the ball.
“But fortunately for us, Joe Mauer is a Minnesota Twin and going to be one for a long, long time. We’ve seen him do that a lot. Yes, some of those balls don’t go out at Target. It’s a different ballpark. It’s our ballpark and some balls that the other hitters hit don’t go out, too. I know Joe doesn’t feel that it evens out, but it does.”
Mauer said he knew this one was gone.
"I thought I got it off the bat," he said. "At the very worst, I thought it was a double, but yeah, I thought it was a home run off the bat."
Yes, and it was a pretty big one, too.