A Missed Opportunity and the Dunn/Rios Dilemma
I had a feeling during last night’s game that it was just a matter of time before the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera did some damage. In his first four at-bats, he walked, flied out, struck out and hit into a double-play–but that was too good to be true. With two outs, two strikes and a man on third in a 2-2 game in the ninth, the man who has the league’s highest batting average with runners in scoring position smashed a two-run, opposite field homer over the right field fence off of Jesse Crain to break the tie. Final score: Detroit 4, White Sox 2.
Despite Justin Verlander on the mound, this was another one of those games the Sox could have won with a clutch hit, but it wasn’t meant to be. Just a half-inning before they stranded Brent Morel, who was on third base with one out. But Carlos Quentin struck out and A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to Verlander. You can chalk it up to one of the games, but the only problem is that the Sox have dug such a hole that every game becomes important to win.
Something has to be Dunn
When Paul Konerko gets back in the lineup and Ozzie isn’t forced to use Adam Dunn at first base, it’s time to think seriously about limiting Dunn’s playing time. He’s in more than a slump. He’s a cinch to strike out multiple times and rarely puts the ball in play. Last night was a perfect example as he struck out three times and only reached base because the Tigers couldn’t turn a double play. He’s now hitting a pitiful .178 without a homer in recent memory. How about Quentin at DH, at least against lefties, with the suddenly red-hot Brent Lillibridge in right field?
If the powers that be decide to keep Dunn as the full-time DH, perhaps the Sox can try to compensate for fellow underachiever Alex Rios‘s horrible season by playing Lillibridge more in centerfield.
It’s just too bad there aren’t more Lilli’s to go around.