In meeting of MVPs, can Mauer end skid against Verlander?


Some Twins fans are moping about Joe Mauer, who has gone hitless in the last five games, a first for his career.

That could end tonight, as the Twins take on the Tigers in Detroit. In fact, even though the Twins are facing ace Justin Verlander, whom many consider to be the best pitcher in baseball, stats show Mauer's skid might even be likely to end tonight.

As the Star Tribune's Phil Miller points out, Mauer is batting .373 with a .479 on-base percentage against Verlander. The 2009 AL MVP also boasts a .593 slugging percentage against the 2011 Al MVP and Cy Young winner. His 12 walks and three homers are the most Mauer has off any pitcher he's faced.

Fox Sports North, meanwhile, points out that Mauer going hitless in his last 20 at bats is also a career high, topping a 0-17 streak in 2007.

FSN also invokes that old saw about Mauer's durability, noting that he is the only Twin to appear in all 22 games this season, catching in 16 of those games.

But a "slump"? Joe Mauer doesn't slump, does he? Three-time batting champ, career .323 hitter? Both media outlets point out that Mauer is hitting .289, after hovering around--ahem--.370 last week.

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