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Adam Dunn HR Watch

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baseball prediction update

Posted By on 09.29.12 at 02:00 PM

Paul Konerkos midseason beaning at the hands of the Cubs Jeff Samardzija: an omen of what was to come.
  • Paul Boucher
  • Paul Konerko's midseason beaning at the hands of the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija: an omen of what was to come.
A lot is riding on the last week of the White Sox's season—most of all the pride I can take in my season-opening predictions.

Kind of like the Sox themselves, I was flying high for a while only to see my pursuit of the Golden BAT go up in smoke of late.

In the National League, I picked the San Francisco Giants to win the West. Then, I can boast that I picked the Washington Nationals to make the playoffs—although not even I was bold enough to say they'd win the East—and had them in one of the two expanded wild-card slots. Otherwise, though, I had the Milwaukee Brewers in the Central and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the other wild card. I never imagined Dusty Baker wouldn't find a way to screw up the Cincinnati Reds in the Central, and I never expected the Atlanta Braves to right themselves from last year's collapse to make the playoffs. So give me credit for two playoff teams, one in the right position, and I have the Giants to win the pennant, so I'm still alive for the bigger prize.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dunn looks to break through—to postseason

Posted By on 09.25.12 at 11:15 AM

Adam Dunn turned frowns upside down at Sox Park Monday.
  • Paul Boucher
  • Adam Dunn turned frowns upside down at Sox Park Monday
Lost in all the notice he's attracted for his single-season strikeout marks the last two years is Adam Dunn's career record.

To wit: he is the active big-league leader in most games played without appearing in the postseason.

In that, he has good company here in Chicago. The top two all-time are Ernie Banks of the Cubs and Luke Appling of the White Sox.

For all the splendor of his comeback season this year, when he's hit barely above .200 but also clouted 39 homers going into Monday's game at White Sox Park against the Cleveland Indians, Dunn has looked as if he wanted to extend that record this fall.

He missed a key series with the Tigers with an injury to his side, and he's been ineffectual upon his return.

In fact, he struck out his first two times up Monday in a must-have game against the Tribe.

Then, however, he homered his last two times up to keep the Sox in the game in the sixth, down 3-2, then to put them ahead in the eighth with a three-run shot that put them up 5-3.

The Sox went on to win 5-4, to keep them a game ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.

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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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Monday, August 20, 2012

Checking in on baseball predictions

Posted By on 08.20.12 at 10:07 AM

Adam Dunn: Go ahead and gloat a little.
The baseball season is about three-quarters done, which makes it a prime time to check in on how one's predictions are faring.

Especially when one gets to gloat—not to put the whammy on myself.

A quick look back at my opening day predictions shows I was stunningly prescient—at least so far—especially where the White Sox are concerned.

Not only did I have the Sox winning the American League Central—which they lead by a game and a half over Detroit—but I also had comeback kid Adam Dunn hitting more homers than the Tigers' freshly signed free agent Prince Fielder. Dunn now leads, 34 to 22.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

White Sox: it's all good

Posted By on 08.16.12 at 10:16 AM

Gramps has words for the White Sox: Its all good.
The White Sox won again Wednesday, leaving them two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers, but it wasn't as easy as the 9-5 final made it look, even as the Sox website referred to it as a rout.

The Sox took a 4-0 lead with the help of a homer by the returned Dewayne Wise, but Gavin Floyd all but squandered his own great stuff when he lost it in the sixth and gave up a game-tying homer to Kelly Johnson.

Adam Dunn saved the game, however, and gave Floyd the win, with a titanic three-run homer in the seventh, his majors-leading 34th and the 399th of his career, putting him on the brink of 400 (in math worthy of Sox radio announcer Ed Farmer).

But the high point came when Dayan Viciedo followed with a two-run shot to right field to complete the Sox's scoring for the night. After his usual call of "You can put it on the board, yes!" Sox TV announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson went positively Dylanesque, adding, "It's all good."

It is all good right now for the Sox, and I'll be examining the precise reasons why later this week.

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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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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cubs, White Sox scratch each others' backs

Posted By on 06.13.12 at 06:13 PM

Jhonny Peralta: Buy yourself a spellcheck program.
Playing in different leagues, the Cubs and White Sox don't often get the chance to help each other out.

And they prefer it that way—at least, most of their fans do.

Yet this week's interleague play finds the Sox facing the Cubs' archrivals in Saint Louis, while the Cubs host the Detroit Tigers, the odds-on preseason choice to take the AL Central.

There's no doubt about whom the games mean more to. The Sox, in first place, need to beat the Cardinals and hope the Cubs don't lie down for the Tigers to put that sputtering team back on its feet.

The Cubs, meanwhile, are last in the NL Central, ahead of only the San Diego Padres in all of baseball, and trying simply to stave off a record for worst season in the team's history. They have little hope of catching the third-place Cards this year, much less the current division leaders, the Cincinnati Reds.

What's more, most Cubs fans would likely prefer the Cards beat the Sox to at least preserve some National League pride.

That's not how it's working out, however; at least not at first.

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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 30, 2012

Mea culpa time for Adam Dunn haters

Posted By on 05.30.12 at 01:37 PM

Why dont the Adam Dunn critics acknowledge their mistake?
  • Keith Allison
  • Why don't the Adam Dunn critics acknowledge their mistake?
A Reader colleague of mine, Steve Bogira (no relation), mocked Adam Dunn endlessly last year, and it's about time he and his fellow haters ate a little crow.

The White Sox vaulted into first place last night with their seventh straight win—and Dunn has helped lead them to the top. He's tied for second in the American League with 16 homers, and he's sixth in RBI with 37. His two-run, 448-foot blast on Memorial Day lifted the Sox to a 2-1 victory. He's been doing that kind of thing most of the season.

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