It's been a tough year for Joe Mauer. A decade of being a spectacular player has given way to a player who has struggled just to be a shell of his former self, in 2015 posting the worst triple slash of his career to date. It seems forever ago, but this is the guy who, in 2012 and 2013, hit a combined .321/.410/.460. This year and last haven't been as kind, as we know, and his triple slash has sunk to .271/.350/.375 in that period.
Perhaps it's the lingering effects of the concussion that ended his 2013 campaign. Perhaps it's age. Perhaps it's a combination of those and other things. But perhaps, on the plus side, there are signs that he could shake out of his prolonged slump.
Joe Mauer has now reached base in 43 consecutive games, a franchise record. From August 7 through last night's game, Mauer is hitting .270/.368/.393. In September, Mauer has once again walked more than he struck out - 18 to 17 - the first month he's pulled that off since June of 2013.
Mauer's streak of consecutive games having reached base breaks Bob Allison's previous record, obviously 42, which had stood for 54 years. Mauer's 43 (2015) and Allison's 42 are followed by Harmon Killebrew's 40 and Paul Molitor's 38.
It was a nice moment for Mauer, who was congratulated in front of his teammates after the game by Molitor. A year ago we took a look at Joe's place in Twins history, and it might be time to give that feature an update.
Joe Mauer is now fourth in Twins history in rWAR (48.0), fourth in batting average (.319), first in on-base percentage (.395), and second in doubles (340). He's a three-time batting champion, 2009 MVP, and was a part of four AL Central titles for the Twins between 2004 and 2010. Whatever you might think of him now, you can't deny it: he's one of the best players to ever don the uniform.