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Joe Mauer closes batting title gap on Miguel Cabrera with MLB-leading 22nd three-hit game

Sep 26, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Joe Mauer AP AP

For a while it looked like Miguel Cabrera‘s biggest hurdle in claiming the triple crown would be topping Josh Hamilton in homers, but Joe Mauer has been on fire this month to close the gap in the batting average race.

Mauer had his MLB-leading 22nd three-hit game of the season last night and is now hitting .418 this month, bringing his overall batting average up to .326 compared to .329 for Cabrera.

Here are the MLB leaders in three-hit games:

Joe Mauer           22
Miguel Cabrera      21
Ryan Braun          18
Derek Jeter         18
Torii Hunter        18
Adrian Beltre       18
Andrew McCutchen    17
Michael Bourn       17

Everyone on that list is batting above .300 except for Bourn, who’s hitting just .274 but has come to the plate an MLB-high 690 times as the Braves’ leadoff man and did most of his damage in the first half.

As for Mauer, he’s already won batting average titles in 2006, 2008, and 2009 and his .324 career mark is second to only Albert Pujols at .325 among all active players. Mauer got off to a slow start following his injury wrecked 2011 season, but since carrying a .265 batting average on May 17 he’s hit .347 in 103 games.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Undoubtedly, this is the right time for uneducated Twins fans to boo him and complain about his lack of home runs, correct?!

    • kopy - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      Eff that noise. After too many drinks in March, I (initially regrettably) wagered my friend that Mauer would reach double digits in home runs this season. After a tense early September, I’m ready to collect a tidy sum, and it’s all thanks to Mauer Power.

  2. mwagner726 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Maybe the Twins fans are saying Boo-urns?

    • adeedothatswho - Sep 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      I was saying Boo-urns….

  3. kopy - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Well played, Mauer!!

  4. mybrunoblog - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Reaching that triple crown is so tough. It’s kind of like an average guy sleeping with some celebrity or model. Yeah, it may have happened a few times in history but it is exceedingly rare and we may never see it again in our lifetime.

    • JB (the original) - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Yeah, just ask Ahhhh-nooold’s housekeeper……..

  5. umrguy42 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    If Cabrera doesn’t win the triple crown – are we even talking about him still for MVP?

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      If you think Cabrera deserves the MVP with the Triple Crown (I don’t), you should still think he deserves it without the Triple Crown.

      Why Joe Mauer getting hot at the end of the season would make Mike Trout a better player is beyond me.

  6. nategearhart - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    He’s whoopin’ Cabrera in OBP, too.

  7. hansob - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    it will be interesting to see if the Twins use the day-game-after-night-game thing as an excuse to sit him versus Sabathia.

    • hansob - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      I guess not:

      • stabonerichard - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        Generally speaking Mauer has held his own against lefty pitching during his career (.297/.367/.386), but Sabathia (.189/.244/.243) has had his number. Mauer has torched guys like Verlander (.364/.462/.582) and King Felix (.424/.486/.727) but hasn’t been able to touch some of the elite southpaws like Sabathia & Price.

        So yeah, an 0-fer today would be a big blow to Mauer’s late push for another BA crown.

  8. willclarkgameface - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Mauer, while generally a fantasy baseball disappointment, is a talented baseball player of the REAL variety and I support his quest for a 4th batting title.

    No one was going to hand this to you Miggy.

  9. samgod13 - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    .418 and he doesn’t even get to face the Twins pitching.

  10. moogro - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Some Twins fans are still confused since they signed Mauer to a long term deal. They don’t know why he doesn’t ever play center anymore, why his team isn’t very good, and why his name isn’t spelled P-U-C-K-E-T-T.

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