Monday June 13, 2011 5:42 am
Is Adam Dunn starting to heat up?
Adam Dunn belted his seventh home run of the season on Sunday; the 361st of his career to tie Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list. The man who is just as popular for his home runs as he is infamous for his strikeouts finally hit two long balls in the same week. While the bomb helped the Chicago White Sox overcome the Oakland Athletics in the game, Dunn still has a long way to go to salvage what is quickly becoming a season to forget.
Dunn’s 84 strikeouts currently have him second in the majors, five behind Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds. The problem there is that Stubbs has 74 more at-bats. Dunn is almost averaging a strikeout for every third plate appearance; more than one per game. Those K’s are likely going to end a few more rallies than his home runs will extend them. He’s now hitting just .180 on the season and can’t seem to buy a hit off a left-handed pitcher.
Dunn has finished in the top-five in strikeouts in the NL in each of his eight full seasons and has lead the league three times. From 2004-2010, he finished with 38 or home runs and finished in the top seven each year, yet never higher than second. He’s currently fourth in strikeouts on the active leaders list and 21st all-time. Reggie Jackson whiffed 2,597 times in his career. Dunn is well on pace to not just pass Jackson’s total, but to obliterate it.
His raw power as a rookie with the Reds got him noticed. He’s only 31 years old, so he still has a lot of “prime” left in him, but something hasn’t quite clicked yet this season, and it’s tarnishing his reputation. He played his entire career in the National League before coming to the White Sox in the offseason, so it might be the change of scenery – and the better American League pitchers – that are getting to him. Whatever it is, he better fix it quick, or he might single-handedly be blamed for a Chicago team that falls just short in the end.
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