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Friday (Predicting a Joe Mauer hot streak) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Target Field, Twins fans Updated: June 20, 2014 - 10:06 AM

 

Here's our 10 cent analysis of Joe Mauer this season:

 

*He started out the year with a slightly different approach after his move to first base, feeling as though he needed to hit for more pop. His swing got a little longer, he struck out more, and it threw him all out of whack.

*After about three weeks, he started to find a groove. From April 24-May 3, a span of 32 at bats, he hit .406 with a 1.005 OPS. That included a double and a home run to right field. After that May 3 game, he was hitting .298 and had an OBP of .396. He still wasn't hitting for a ton of power overall, but he was squaring up the ball.

*On May 4, he left a game with back problems. He didn't play again until May 10. Whether he came back too early or had his timing thrown off, he hasn't been the same since -- not even decent, which he at least had been before the back injury. From May 10 through Wednesday, he hit just .220 with just a .291 slugging percentage and a .570 OPS. Those are weak-hitting middle infielder numbers. The more you fail, the more failure gets in your head. He looked tense at the plate, and every game that went by without an RBI seemed to fester. Combine that with increasingly shifting defenses taking hits away and a notion that at age 31 with a concussion history Mauer might be losing even a fraction of his hand-eye coordination, and you have cause for alarm.

*But last night we saw something different: two trademark Mauer hits. The first was a looping single to left, a classic Tony Gwynn-like stroke off a left-handed pitcher that drove in a run and tied the Twins 2-2. The second was a well-struck double down the left field line -- a clutch hit to break that 2-2 tie in the eighth and propel the Twins to a 4-2 victory. His swing looked short and compact, but still authoritative. He wasn't trying to do anything other than hit like he always has.

In FSN's postgame interview, we saw an honest smile on Joe's face a few times. A smile will not help you go 2-for-4, but going 2-for-4 and contributing to a win will help you smile. When you feel good, you gain confidence.

It was the kind of game that could propel him into the kind of hot streak he had started shortly before being injured, and we're guessing it will.

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Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: CLE- M.Brantley (20) MIN- O.Arcia (19), K.Vargas (9)

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Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland 4 Top 9th Inning
Minnesota 3
Detroit 10 Top 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Seattle 9 Top 8th Inning
Houston 3
Arizona 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Colorado 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia 1 Top 5th Inning
Oakland 3
Texas 7 Bottom 2nd Inning
LA Angels 0
San Francisco 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Diego 4
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7 4th Qtr 1:26
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 1st Half 20:00
Real Salt Lake 0
Toronto 11 11:18
Brt Columbia 0
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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