Adam Dunn K Watch

Monday, September 24, 2012

White Sox magic numbers

Posted By on 09.24.12 at 04:30 PM

The great Adam Dunn
By losing only once yesterday, the White Sox reduced their magic number to ten (because the Tigers dropped a pair). The Sox are one game up on the Tigers with ten to play. Any combination of ten Tiger losses and ten White Sox losses, and the Sox clinch the mighty AL Central.

Adam Dunn, meantime, likely will fall short in his valiant pursuit of the big league single-season strikeout record. Dunn's 205 whiffs this year already is the third highest season total, and he'll almost certainly pass Mark Reynolds's 2010 mark of 211 for second place. He'll have to really get breezy, however, to break Reynolds's 2009 total of 223 Ks. But it isn't over till it's over.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Adam Dunn, all is forgiven

Posted By on 07.20.12 at 01:10 PM

Heir to Dave Nicholson, reminder of betrayal
Here at the office, I'm looking sharp today in my sky blue Adam Dunn American League All-Star T-shirt. It's a birthday present from a clever friend. My birthday's today, so the rigid Reader dress code has been relaxed for me.

On the train ride downtown this morning, I didn't spot anyone else wearing the Adam Dunn All-Star shirt. And a check of Google Maps Adam Dunn All-Star T-Shirt View confirms that I am, in fact, the only person in downtown Chicago wearing the shirt today.

It was the perfect gift. As some of you are aware, I've been one of Dunn's biggest supporters since the Big Breeze blew into town 319 strikeouts ago.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

On to the second half of baseball season

Posted By on 07.13.12 at 10:48 AM

Adam Dunn and the White Sox trot smiling into the second half.
  • Paul Boucher
  • Adam Dunn and the White Sox trot smiling into the second half
The formal second half of the baseball season begins Friday, with our two teams in vastly different circumstances.

The White Sox are in first place in the American League Central, nine games above .500 after their recent hot streak, and three games ahead of the second-place Cleveland Indians.

But only three and a half ahead of more-threatening Detroit, which issued a challenge over the All-Star break from Miguel Cabrera.

The Cubs helped awaken the sleeping Tigers, and they've been hot too, but then again their ace Justin Verlander just got lit up as the AL starter in the All-Star Game, and that's not easily shaken off.

I still like my wager that Adam Dunn will hit more homers than the Tigers' Prince Fielder, as he's up at the break 25-15. But Dunn may also break his own team record for strikeouts—before August is over.

As for the Cubs . . .

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Joy in Mudville: Adam Dunn connects!

Posted By on 06.28.12 at 11:16 AM

The Big Breeze couldnt miss yesterday
Adam Dunn's bat, which had suffered nary a nick the last 11 days, took a beating yesterday afternoon in Minnesota. The occasional slugger went three for five with a homer and knocked in four as the White Sox trounced the Twins, 12-5.

Dunn also didn't strike out. Not once, the whole game. Seriously. He hit fly balls the two times he was retired.

The Big Breeze hadn't gone deep—or medium, or shallow—since June 15. He'd had three singles in 36 at bats, with 21 whiffs. And he was still batting third in the Sox order.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hormel call to the pen

Posted By on 06.19.12 at 12:31 PM

Ring Lardner: Inventor of the phrase city serious.
For the White Sox, the bullpen became a pigpen against the Cubs Monday.

With ace John Danks still suffering from shoulder problems, manager Robin Ventura called on bullpen long man Zach Stewart to start the opener of a three-game grudge match with the Cubs at White Sox Park.

It was a considerable departure from the way Jerry Manuel, in his second go-round in the hotly contested "city serious," set up his rotation months in advance to face the Cubs—and made it work.

Stewart, by contrast, stank it up, and the rest of the bullpen only got worse. The Sox lost, 12-3.

The Sox, who love corporate tie-ins as much as anybody, especially on their radio broadcasts on WSCR AM, could have called it the Hormel Call to the Pen.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

World Series rematch not a mismatch

Posted By on 06.09.12 at 01:21 PM

Chris Sale acts as Sox stopper Saturday.
  • Keith Allison Wikimedia Commons
  • Chris Sale acts as Sox stopper Saturday.
The 2005 World Series rematch at White Sox Park this weekend would have seemed to be a mismatch.

Just as the original was.

The Sox came into the interleague series still fairly fresh from a nine-game winning streak and atop the AL Central. The Houston Astros, whom they of course swept in 2005, were in fifth place in the NL Central, with only the Cubs keeping them out of the cellar.

Yet what's that Harry Caray used to say about the utter unpredictability of baseball? Sometimes it's a delightful surprise, and sometimes it'll bite one on the rear. Sox starter Gavin Floyd made a few bad pitches, and the bullpen threw some logs on the fire for an 8-3 loss Friday night.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dunn narrowly misses record, bravely breezes on

Posted By on 05.16.12 at 08:46 AM

Ill catch you yet, Bill Stoneman . . .

Evidently I'd gasped more loudly than I realized—"I thought your mother had died," said the coworker in the office next to mine. But there's no question I was shocked. Flying in the face of senior Sox correspondent Steve Bogira's prediction, Adam Dunn failed in his pursuit of the record for consecutive-game strikeouts. Dunn's jaw-dropping zero K's against Kansas City last Thursday left 70s-era Montreal pitcher Bill Stoneman's record 36-game missing streak intact!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bums' rush: Come back, Big Donkey (and Becks and Rios)

Posted By on 05.12.12 at 01:31 PM

Adam Dunn mashes a first-inning homer Friday night at White Sox Park.
  • Paul Boucher
  • Adam Dunn mashes a first-inning homer Friday night at White Sox Park.
Friday could have been called "I Was a White Sox Bum Night" at Sox Park.

Adam Dunn crushed a first-inning home run to give Gavin Floyd all the runs he'd need to beat the Kansas City Royals. Gordon Beckham followed a two-out Alejandro De Aza single and stolen base in the third with a two-out RBI single up the middle. Dunn followed that with a two-out ground-rule double that, unfortunately, left Becks at third, where he was stranded when Paul Konerko's broken-bat liner to short left was stabbed by a diving Alex Gordon, depriving Paulie of the chance to blow the game open, an opportunity seized instead by the unlikely Alex Rios three innings later with a two-out, two-run triple, scoring Becks, who'd led off with a double, and A.J. Pierzynski, who'd replaced Dunn, who'd walked, on the bases with a fielder's choice.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Adam Dunn whiffs for the record this weekend

Posted By on 05.11.12 at 02:47 PM

Whos behind that steady breeze on the south side?
The White Sox have played 32 games this season. How many do you think Adam Dunn has fanned in?

Correct! He hasn't missed at missing once—not for a whole game, anyway. Add to that his last four games of 2011, and the Big Breeze has a 36-game missing streak going. That's one shy of the record, which Dunn will likely tie in the Cell tonight against KC.

The 37-game record is held by Oak Park native Bill Stoneman, a Montreal pitcher drafted by the Cubs in 1966. Stoneman's streak started in April 1971 and ended the following April. But, well, he was a pitcher, with a lifetime batting average of .086.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are the White Sox solving their ADHD (Adam Dunn Hitting Deficit) problem?

Posted By on 05.08.12 at 07:12 AM

Dunn is dangerous when hes in the field
Adam Dunn didn't play in the field much last year for the White Sox. Manager Ozzie Guillen knew that Dunn's glove, like his bat, often has trouble locating the ball.

But Paul Konerko's sore neck has forced new manager Robin Ventura to use Dunn at first base often in the early going. Dunn has played down to expectations there, but his fielding foibles have not greatly cost the team. Meantime, something odd has been happening at the plate when Dunn's been in the lineup as a fielder instead of a designated hitter: he's been making contact.

Dunn is hitting .236 overall—77 points higher than last year. He has nine home runs in just 30 games. He does lead the league in strikeouts, with 45, but he's been an all-or-nothing swinger throughout his career, except for last season, when he dropped the "all."

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