Results tagged ‘ Adam Dunn ’

Familiarity Breeds Contempt as White Sox Lose Series to Bosox; No Last Minute Deals This Year

For anyone who wants to understand the White Sox struggles through the club’s first 106 games just has to look at the last three innings of today’s disappointing 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. It serves as a microcosm of the team’s failure to be better than their 52-54 record.

7th Inning: The Sox lost their 3-2 lead (wasting another Mark Buehrle effort) , largely due to a deflected infield hit and a Tyler Flowers passed ball that moved the tying and winning runs into second and third. The two runners scored on a Dustin Pedroia base hit.

8th Inning: With two outs and Alexei Ramirez on second with his 22nd double, Juan Pierre failed to drive in the tying run. It is important to note that Pierre was hitting in the third spot only because he replaced Paul Konerko, removed from the game after being hit by a pitch.

9th Inning: Now down 5-3, the Sox had three of their supposed big bats in position to give it a shot. But they went down with a whimper as Carlos Quentin, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios all went down swinging. The problem, as we all know, is that Dunn and Rios are far from being big bats, despite the preseason expectations and the back of their baseball cards. They haven’t done it in the first four months and there’s no reason to believe things are going to change.

If Dunn and Rios continue their woeful offense and continue to fail when it counts, there’s no reason to believe the Sox are any better than a .500 team let alone a division contender.

Bad Timing?:  With two losses in a row, the Sox find themselves in a tough situation with the Yankees coming in for four games. To make matters worse, C.C. Sabathia is on the mound in Game 1 tomorrow night.

The Frank Thomas Statue Was Unveiled Before Today’s Game

One Fine Day

Quite a day on the South Side. Here are some of the highlights:

–The 2-1 victory over the Tigers, giving the Sox their second straight series win over Detroit and enabling them to move within 3 1/2 games of the division leaders.

Alejandro De Aza (above), just up from Charlotte, hit his first major league home run, which proved to be the difference in today’s triumph.

–De Aza’s promotion has moved Alex Rios to the bench, a smart move considering the latter’s disastrous season both at the plate and in the field.

John Danks was outstanding today, giving up only a run and six hits in six innings along with 10 strikeouts. Most impressive was the fact he got out of jam after jam against the tough Tiger lineup.

–The Trade: Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to the Jays for reliever Jason Frasor and minor league pitcher Zach Stewart. The fact that Jackson will be a free agent at the end of the season made his departure an obvious move. Teahen is addition by subtraction. And Frasor, a Chicagoan who has always been tough on his hometown/new team, will be a big help in the pen.

For the record, Jackson was quickly dealt  from the Jays to the Cardinals for centerfielder Colby Rasmus, who was rumored to coveted by the Sox. Counting Toronto, who Jackson never played for, St. Louis is Jackson’s seventh team–Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Blue Jays, Cardinals–in his nine big league campaigns.

–Extra! Extra! Adam Dunn didn’t strike out today and had a hit and three walks. A cause for celebration.

–The bullpen has been extraordinary most of the season. This afternoon was no exception as Chris Sale and Sergio Santos (21st save) preserved the Danks win, coming in for three frames of perfect relief. Sale did most of the heavy lifting in his 2 2/3 innings of work as Santos retired one batter–Brennan Boesch, who made the final out.

Sox Note of Note: Apart from the Jackson deal, rumors are flying that other moves are on the way as the Sox try to cut some payroll. Could Matt ThorntonJuan PierreCarlos Quentin or even Danks and Gavin Floyd be next?

Tough, Tough Loss

The game last night was very winnable. Adam Dunn even homered to give the Sox a 2-0 lead, A.J. Pierzynski even threw out a runner at second base and Paul Konerko smashed a two-run homer to tie the game at 4-4.

But a name from our past, Wilson Betemit, reared his ugly head (nothing personal, Wilson) and singled in the eventual winning run and the hope of defeating Justin Verlander for the second time in a row went by the boards. For the record, Betemit is a guy who was horrible in his short stint, both at bat and on defense, on the South Side but as an opponent has owned Sox pitching.

I guess it just wasn’t to be as Jake Peavy weakened as the game went on and Matt Thornton couldn’t retire Betemit when he need to in the eighth. But even if Thornton had retired him, who knows if the Sox could scored the deciding run. We’ll never know.

So, no sweeping the Tigers, but a series victory is a must if the Sox are to keep pace with the division leaders. Especially with the Red Sox, Yankees and Twins looming.

Sox Note of Note:  Charlotte outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who is hitting .322, was pulled from his game last night. It has led to speculation that some kind of deal is in the works as we’re days away from the trading deadline. No official word yet.

Don’t Count on Adam and Alex

One thing is becoming pretty clear to all of us, despite our hopes to the contrary. If the White Sox are to win the A.L. Central and make their first postseason appearance since 2008, they are going to have to do it without major contributions from Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

We have been thinking things will change, but it’s July 19 and nada.

The disappointing duo, once counted on to be at the heart of the Sox offense, show no signs of significant improvement. If you think about it, it’s pretty impressive that we’re only two games under .500 and 4 1/2 from the division lead without these two being major factors.

As well-chronicled here and elsewhere, Dunn has been and continues to be an absolute failure. He’s on his way to setting the all-time single-season strikeout mark and is threatening to record the lowest qualifying batting average in the last 91 years. He’s now at .158.

Rios is simply lost. It’s apparent he’s confused at the plate and his nonchalant attitude gives the impression he’s not trying. It’s painful to watch his struggles. He’s now at .208 and headed for Dunn territory.

Last night, as has been the case so many times before, the Sox were victorious despite Dunn and Rios. Between them they were 0 for 7 with four strikeouts (two apiece).

Things certainly can change, but right now the conventional wisdom is that any hope of October baseball is going to be accomplished with Nos. 32 and 51.

Read it and Weep

 

A fascinating piece from BaseballReference.com by John Autin:

Perhaps lost in the glow of Edwin Jackson‘s shutout Saturday was another oh-fer by ChiSox DH Adam Dunn (0-4, 3 Ks).

Dunn’s batting average is now .159, giving him a 20-point “lead” in the backwards race for the worst qualifying BA in the live-ball era. Rob Deer currently holds that distinction with his .179 average in 1991; only one other qualified batter has finished below .190 in a live-ball season (Eddie Joost, .185 in 1943).

But the 91 years of the live-ball era may not be big enough to contain Dunn’s futility. So let’s cast the net all the way back to 1893, when the 60′ 6″ pitching distance was established. The only player with a qualified BA under .160 was the notorious non-hitting catcher Bill Bergen, who did it twice (while compiling a lifetime .170 average): .159 in 1906, matching Dunn’s current mark; and the all-time record of .139 in 1909. And Bergen’s 372 PAs in both seasons would not have qualified by the modern standard; the qualifying threshold at the time was 100 games.

In his last 47 games, Dunn is 19 for 161, a .118 average, with 76 strikeouts – 4 times his hit total. He has just two 2-hit games in that span, and the 2nd hit in one of those games came in the 14th inning. He has 3 Ks or more in 11 of his last 44 starts.

Dunn is 4 for 43 in July. That’s one less hit this month than Derek Jeter had in his 3,000th-hit game, and just one more hit than Jose Reyes had in the 12 innings he played this month before going on the DL.

Break Up the White Sox

While rumors are swirling that he may once again be on the trading block, Edwin Jackson today pitched his finest game since joining the Sox nearly a year ago with a 5-0 complete game shutout of the Tigers. It was his first CG since pitching his no-hitter with the Diamondbacks last June.

Jackson’s usual bugaboo is his inconsistency and lack of control, resulting in high pitch counts. But that wasn’t the case this afternoon in Detroit as he sailed through nine innings on just 101 pitches. He’s now 6-7 and lowered his ERA to under 4.00 (3.97).

If Jackson remains with the Sox, the hope is that he can repeat what he did today on a more consistent basis. If the Sox plan to trade him, which would mean the righthander would be shipped to his sixth team (Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, D-backs, Sox), Edwin did Kenny Williams a favor by showcasing himself in the best possible light.

In addition to Jackson’s gem, two of the Sox first-half whipping boys were keys to the offense. Juan Pierre went 4 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI while Gordon Beckham had his second consecutive two-hit game and also scored a run and drove one in. Pierre has elevated his BA to .275 and Beckham is now at .252. Carlos Quentin had his second straight three-hit game, including his 18th homer.

Even though Adam Dunn delivered a clutch hit in last night’s victory he went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts today. His non-producing buddy, Alex Rios, was also 0 for 4 with two K’s. Dunn is now at a season low .159 and Rios, now at .207, keeps tumbling as well.

Sox Note of Note: If the uniform Jackson is wearing in the above photo threw you off a bit, it’s a throwback uniform the South Siders wore today in tribute to the Chicago American Giants of the Negro Leagues.

Dunn’s a Guy Worth Cheering For

As White Sox fans we have agonized over the collapse of Adam Dunn, heretofore one of baseball’s premier sluggers and the man the Sox hoped would be a key piece in their drive toward an A.L. Central title.

The facts, however, are there for all to see: a batting average well below .200 (it reached .165 after Sunday’s game with the Cubs), an alarming 105 strikeouts and before last night Dunn hadn’t hit a home run since June 12. Statisticians have gone even further by pointing out that his season thus far is historically one of the worst ever.

In the midst of pulling the hair out of our heads and screaming at him at the top of our lungs, we’ve also been aware how tough it must be for Dunn, who has been the favorite of the boo-birds. And, frankly, who could blame the fans? Dunn has whiffed so often that a groundout or routine fly ball has been cause for optimism.

But there is another side to Dunn. He’s a fun-loving guy, a great teammate and has worked as hard as possible to break out of the slump. To his credit, he has responded to his woes with a self-deprecating humor and hasn’t for a minute lashed out at the media and fans. That quality was never more evident that it was last night in the Sox’s 5-4 victory over the Royals.

In his second at bat in the fourth, Dunn lined a single down the right field line. The fans, reacting to the rare occurence, gave him a “tongue in cheek” standing ovation.  Dunn smiled and tipped his cap. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, with a man aboard, Dunn smashed a towering two-run homer over the right field fence to give the Sox a 4-3 lead. The fans, now delirious with joy, didn’t stop cheering until the beleaguered DH came out for a curtain call.

As it turned out, Dunn’s home run was not the lead on SportsCenter and in all the game recaps. K.C. tied the game at 4 in the top of ninth on an Eric Hosmer round-tripper off of closer Sergio Santos and the game ended on an Aaron Crow balk with Dunn at the plate and A.J. Pierzynski scoring from third.

We’d like to think that July 4 will be Dunn’s independence from the ire of the media and the fans and the freedom to be the slugger he has been for years. From our perspective, we now realize that regardless of his performance on the field, he’s someone we should cheer for.

42-42

It’s been a long time coming, but the White Sox reached the .500 mark today with a nail-biting 1-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley for their fourth straight win. Phil Humber (above), who has been nothing short of extraordinary all season, chalked up his eighth win in seven innings of work. The season’s most pleasant surprise outpitched Matt Garza, who went all the way in the loss.

The South Siders went hitless for five innings before the red-hot Juan Pierre (who else?) collected the first Sox hit and drove in their lone run in the same at bat in the sixth.

With Sergio Santos having pitched three days in a row, Matt Thornton was called upon to preserve the shutout. He did, hurling two perfect frames for his third save. Another spectacular performance by a bullpen that has been nothing less than spectacular in recent days.

Nothing’s perfect, though, and if an Adam Dunn resurgence is forthcoming it’s going to have to wait. Dunn, playing in right field in place of Carlos Quentin, struck out three times. It seems his nightmare is never going to end.

Sox win 4 of first 5 against the Cubs to win Crosstown Cup with 1 game to go.

One for the Books

While we spend the off-day wondering how the White Sox will fare when they resume play tomorrow night in Denver against the Rockies, here is something else to ponder:

It is July 27 and Adam Dunn has struck out 100 times in 67 games so far this season.

Sox Hall of Fame second baseman Nellie Fox struck out 91 times from 1954-1960.

I’m just saying.

Nice Win, But We Live in a Real World

Twenty-four hours ago, my Sox posse and I were lamenting the 6-3 loss to the Cubs in the opener of the Crosstown Series.

One day later, we have claimed an impressive 3-2 rain-delayed win over the North Siders, gained a full game on the first place Indians, to move within 4 1/2 games of first place, and have inched closer to the elusive .500 mark (36-39).

While all of us are feeling better this morning, we can’t ignore three dark clouds that need to clear out before we seriously think postseason:

  • Adam Dunn
  • Alex Rios
  • Gordon Beckham
Dunn — As documented here and everywhere, Dunn has been a failure of monumental proportion. Here we are on June 21 and the slugger who consistently has hit in the 40 homer and 100 RBI range, has smashed just seven HR and driven in 29. Most alarming, of course are his 91 strikeouts in 64 games and his .175 batting average.  It won’t happen for a variety of reasons, but how about recalling Dayan Viciedo to share DH duties and play a little right field? We can’t endure Dunn much longer if he doesn’t snap out of it.
Rios — If it weren’t for Dunn’s woes, Rios would be the main whipping boy. After last season we thought he figured it out, but apparently not. Hitting .212 with six homers and 20 RBIs, he’s looked lost at the plate for the most part and  it seems his offense has affected his defense. He doesn’t seem to be the same “money” centerfielder as he was last season. The good news is that he’s come alive a bit lately.
Beckham — Although it hasn’t gotten the notice–or the blame–of the others, you can make a case that Beckham is the biggest disappointment of all. In his first season (2009), when he was named Rookie of the Year by two peer groups, he was as close to a sure thing as we’ve had since the days of Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura and Jack McDowell. But he began his sophomore season in a horrific slump, came on during the summer and ended the season injured. This year, he looks like another average major league infielder, not the perennial All-Star we thought he would be. There is still time for him to get back to his “glory days,” but if it doesn’t happen it’ll be a colossal disappointment to the organization and its fan base.
On a more positive note, how about that Konerko? He’s absolutely on fire with his 21 homers, 59 RBIs, 331 BA and 1.010 OPS. Not to mention having hit HR in five consecutive games.
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