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Joe Mauer homers in 13th to lift Twins over Pirates 4-3

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Joe Mauer just keeps helping the Twins win baseball games. What's with this guy?

Look at that form and tell me you don't have a baseball crush on Joe Mauer. Oh, you don't? Liar.
Look at that form and tell me you don't have a baseball crush on Joe Mauer. Oh, you don't? Liar.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This one looked good in the early going. Torii Hunter's bases-clearing double in the first put the Twins up 3-0 before the Pirates even had a chance to hit, and for a while that looked like it would be all Minnesota would need. Josh Harrison deserves an assist there for not hitting his relay man, but nobody here is complaining.

Mike Pelfrey was, it feels weird but awesome to say it, good. Over six frames he only allowed one run off of five hits, striking out five and not issuing a walk. He got into a bit of trouble in the first, but after allowing a run he stranded runners by striking out Pedro Alvarez. I'm not sure what kind of power he held over Pittsburgh's hitters, but everything he placed was on the nose and the Pirates regularly looked surprised by what they saw.

Ryan Pressly and Blaine Boyer would allow a run each in relief, sending the teams tied 3-3 into the ninth inning. J.R. Graham did a remarkable job as the fifth reliever out of the bullpen by throwing three scoreless frames, striking out two and giving up just one hit. Brian Duensing's scoreless twelfth sent us to the top of the thirteenth.

With one out and nobody on, Joe Mauer took a called strike. Then this happened.

On a frozen rope, Mauer got in front of a slider and lined it into the seats in right field. It was a classic Mauer swing, as perfect as it's ever been, and the ball didn't loft - it just rode a straight line over the fence.

And can we talk about this throwing home runs back for a minute? I've brought this up a few times over the years, but I'll say it again: I don't get it. Throwing a home run ball back doesn't send a message. The team you root for doesn't sit in the dug out and go "Oh, yeah, sweet throw from that dude, tell you what fellas I really appreciate that fan's loyalty." Maybe you don't care about souvenirs, but I guarantee you you'll know someone or someone's kid who does. Catching a home run ball is a rare thing. Catching a home run ball from a great player is even rarer. Catching a home run ball from Joe Mauer is even rarer.

If that guy didn't go home and lie awake all night questioning his purpose in life after that arbitrary display of whatever he thought he was displaying, then I'm afraid I can't identify with him on any level.

Twins sweep the Pirates in two games, have won four of their last five, and with a 23-17 record have the seventh-best record in baseball. WHAT?!? This is awesome.

Game Notes

  • Joe Mauer is tied for the league lead in 13th inning home runs.
  • Brian Dozier caught a liner to start a nice double play in the sixth. It may have been the last time Pittsburgh fans were excited.
  • Paul Molitor used all seven of his relievers on Thursday night.
  • Glen Perkins earned his 15th save.

ROLL CALL! (Top 5)

# Commenter # Comments
1 SooFoo Fan 68
2 kenzertz 53
3 Brananorama 44
4 less cowbell, more 'neau 41
5 jere.johnson.37 28

COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD

beezer07: "Just like lazy ass Mauer to only hit a solo home run"

Studs

Joe Mauer
Torii Hunter
Mike Pelfrey
J.R. Graham

Duds

NO DUDS TWINS WIN