To Making it Count: Joe Mauer Making his Home Runs Count

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Joe Mauer is no longer the player he once was. That goes without saying. But, if the Twins are going to stay in contention during the dog days of summer they need the former MVP to be better.

The Minnesota Twins first baseman is currently in one of the worst slumps of his career. The career .315 hitter is hitting .183 this month. His struggles have been so bad that he even received boos from the Target Field crowd last night.

After hitting .318 during the month of April, Mauer appeared primed to have a bounce back season following the worst season of his big league career. It was all just a tease. He then hit just .240 in May, but the team was winning so Mauer’s struggles were overlooked.

The Twins have gone 6-11 in June and Mauer’s struggles at the plate have been the main topic of discussion.  However, things may have changed today.

With his team down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth with two outs Mauer came to the plate and hit a game-tying home run, his third home run of the season. The Twins ended up winning the game 2-1 off a walk-off home run by Kenny Vargas.

Mauer has just three home runs on the season, which ranks 33rd among first baseman. But, all three of his home runs have come during big situations.

His first home run of the season was a go-ahead blast in extra innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. His second home run was a three-run shot that tied the game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Then today’s home run helped propel his team to their second straight win against the best team in baseball.

Mauer’s average may not be floating above the .300 mark like we are used to seeing. But, he’s come through in the clutch on more than one occasion this season. He’s hitting a remarkable .410 with runners in scoring position.

Is Mauer worth his contract? No, but what professional athlete is? If the Twins make the playoffs this year you can bet that Mauer will be playing a major role. Mark June 18th down on your calendar as the day Joe Mauer turned his season around. 

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