Assuming that Joe Mauer gets at least four plate appearances in tonight's game against the Yankees he'll have enough playing time to become eligible for the batting title and immediately take over the league lead from Ichiro Suzuki.
Making a season-long run at .400 remains highly unlikely, but with Mauer hitting .389 and Suzuki hitting .360 it would be great to watch those two duke it out down the stretch to see who can capture their third batting title. After all, in terms of batting average Mauer and Ichiro are two of the elite hitters from the past 50 years.
AVG Tony Gwynn .338 Albert Pujols .334 ICHIRO SUZUKI .332 Roberto Clemente .329 Wade Boggs .328 Todd Helton .328 Rod Carew .328 JOE MAUER .324 Vladimir Guerrero .322 Kirby Puckett .318
Mauer will join the leaderboard with a lead of 20-30 points, but obviously no one can be expected to keep up his current pace and as a catcher who missed all of April with a back injury it wouldn't be surprising to see him wear down somewhat in the second half. On the other hand, Suzuki has hit "only" .324 after the All-Star break compared to .339 in the first half during his brilliant career.
As a Twins fan I'd like to see Mauer take home his third batting crown in five seasons, but as a baseball fan I'd love to see Ichiro matching him single for single down the stretch.