After Prince Fielder belted a 3-2 fastball for a 2-run double to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 lead that they would hang on to for the win, Jose Mijares and Joe Mauer exchanged a little “he said – she said” about that pitch. Whatever the case may be, Mauer calling the wrong pitch, Mijares leaving the pitch too over the plate or trusting his catcher too much, the end result was another Twins loss, their 3rd straight.
A quick glance at Fielder’s 2011 Topps baseball card will tell you everything the Twins needed to know about how to handle Prince Fielder during that game changing at bat. He was the 2010 MLB Walks leader. He walked 114 times last season, more than Daric Barton (Really? 110), Albert Pujols (103) or even home run king, Jose Bautista (100). With two on and two out the Twins should have thrown something out of the zone and given Fielder a chance to hit it weakly or advance to the previously unoccupied first base. What else does the back of Fielder’s card tell us? Not much, it just lists the ten players with the most walks in 2010. But Fielder is hitting for a ball down and away he might as well called for the slider, especially since Fielder struggles mightily against off speed pitching. Good news for Twins fans is that Francisco Liriano is on the hill today, he should have his devastating slider working, and Fielder is just 1-11 lifetime against Frankie, which should help cool off Fielder who is hitting .369 in June with 9 HRs.
Anyways, I think all this back and forth between Mauer and Mijares blows away, the Twins will go about their business and I’d expect the Twins to feed Fielder a healthy dose of off speed pitches the rest of the weekend and next.
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