Not a great result from the hammer. Time for me to pick up dinner.
Doesn't Mauer want to be the guy to win the game? The second strike he took was right down the middle. Compare that to Morneau.
Mauer takes a pitch right down the middle every AB
Gotta laugh, right?
The team's MVP who has 31 HR was on deck and had the bases loaded, Mauer had a nice at bat and extended the inning. Him taking a hack on the 3-1 breaking ball isn't the correct play.
Another L that should have been a W
Yeah, that's how a catcher playing OF prepares for a tag....
Dave, we didn't need 4 RBI, just one. Mauer's RISP is pretty, pretty good and average way better than Hammer. Yeah, he is probably sitting dead red on fastball, but he's supposed to be able to handle a slider over the plate. At least offer at it.
Caught it. Paused. Threw a rainbow 30 feet left of the plate. They should have him in one of their after game "instructionals"
1. Swing and miss.
2. Foul boul
3. Poorly hit ball for an out.
Of course there is a chance that he could have offered at it and gotten a hit, but Mauer didn't become one of the best hitters in the game by "offering" at 3-1 pitches. This is stuff you learn in any baseball above Little League. The pitcher made a great pitch, it is what it is.
Willingham has a .950 OPS on the season, I will take my chances with him at the plate and bases loaded any day of the week.
The Twins arn't trying very hard.
http://www.startribune.com/sports/tw...166676076.html), rarely critical of the Twins, but apparently crabby because of West Coast deadline issues, disagrees with your take. I'm in the middle, Mauer had 2 of 6 pitches close to worth swinging at during the AB but he wasn't having a good night at the plate and there likely isn't anyone in the game better at judging the strike zone, and there was no way that Luetge was going to give him anything fat. Let the controversy ensue:
"I didnít have time to ask Mauer about his plate appearance, but Iím just going to say this: He has to have more urgency to swing the bat there. His otherworldly .414 on-base percentage is a big reason for whatever success the Twins have had offensively this year. But sometimes, a guy making $23 million per year needs to take it upon himself to take his shot.
If the Twins had one at-bat to win a game, the Twins would take Mauer/Luetge over Willingham/Wilhelmsen any day. Never mind that Mauer has 60 RBI and Willingham has 89. This was a spot for a batting champ, and Mauer is batting .319 compared to Willinghamís .259.
Mauer has to recognize this and take a rip at that 3-0 sinker. Maybe he figured heíd get another crack at 3-1, and Luetge threw a pretty good slider for strike two, but after another errant sinker, Mauer was bending down, unhooking his shin pad, waiting for someone else to do the heavy lifting."
Surprising take from Joe C. He doesn't get that critical very often, this seems like a really odd choice to break the pattern.
What Mauer did there struck me as pretty defensible. His plate discipline is what makes him the hitter he is. If the situation had been different, and it were a stone cold Plouffe due up next, then maybe I could see ripping Mauer. But it was our top run producer on deck.
It's not like the time he tried to bunt with guys on base, which Laudner called "stupid" in the postgame.
For me it comes down to this: the game was tied. It wasn't like they needed Willingham to come up and hit a grand slam.
Are you going to "man up" and take your best shot at giving your team a chance to win? Or are you going to pass the burden on to your teammate?
I guess Mauer could argue that by walking he was giving the team its "best shot". Looking at the statistics of both players, I have to question that.