Joel Pineiro has struggled of late, allowing 17 runs in nine innings over his last three starts, but even when he is pitching well he has not fared well against Joe Mauer. Every once in a while, a statistic looks so absurd that it couldn't possible be real. Only this one is.
Mauer in his career coming into tonight had 14 hits in 20 at-bats against Pineiro. There's nothing to be ashamed of in getting hit by Mauer; after all, the man is one of the best hitters in the game, and has three batting titles to his credit. But 14 for 20? That's insanity. Add in five doubles, a triple, and three walks, and Mauer's line against Pineiro was a gaudy .700/.739/1.050.
So what did Mauer do tonight in the first inning off Pineiro? Naturally, Mauer had an RBI single, putting the Twins up 1-0. But then Pineiro induced a ground out in the top of the third. Maybe there is hope after all. Last I checked, .500 is worse than .700.