As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Friday, December 6

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Tailgate
« Bulls Choke in Game 3 Injuries Put Bulls on the Ropes »

White Sox Mon May 07 2012

Dunn Busts Out of Slump

Even though the Sox lost their rubber match against Detroit on Sunday, Adam Dunn hit a home run.

We are slowly getting to the point where that is not a surprise anymore.

Dunn connected off the Tigers' Rick Porcello, driving a low and outside changeup just over the fence in right field. Dunn hit the pitch about as well as any hitter could; the hit was the one bright spot the Sox offense had against Porcello (only one run on four hits allowed) all afternoon.

The big 1B/DH has been swinging the bat well over the last few weeks, specifically the last 18 games. For the first few weeks, Dunn looked like he was continuing last season - he had one home run (way back on Opening Day), and was batting .179 with a .256 OBP. He had four extra-base hits, and two of them came in one game against Detroit.

But on April 18, Dunn had a nice game in an 8-1 win over Baltimore: he went 1-for-2 with three walks and a three-RBI double to ice the game. The next afternoon, he went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and the day after that he went 3-for-4 with two home runs and 5 RBIs in Seattle.

With those three games, he was able to get some momentum going. Since April 18, Dunn is batting .295, with 8 homers, 20 RBIs and a .436 OBP. His OPS in that span is 1.183. Quite simply, Dunn is producing. He has upped his season stats (.250 BA, .372 OBP) to around his career average (.244 BA, .374 OBP). Dunn is even tied for the AL lead in home runs with 9.

Of course, the downside with Dunn is that he strikes out a lot. He has been retired on strikes 42 times this year (most in the AL), and has struck out in every game this season. This can be downplayed though because Dunn has always been a high strikeout guy, striking out at least 160 times each season since 2002. As long as he has his power stroke, his team can live with the whiffs.

How has Dunn been able to change his fortune? After all, here in early May of the 2012 season, he is only two home runs short of his entire 2011 total (11), and is just 19 RBIs and 9 doubles shy as well (23 RBIs and 7 doubles in 2012, 42 RBIs and 16 doubles in 2011).

Dunn has been jumping on pitches earlier in the count. In 2012, two of his home runs have come on the first pitch of the at-bat, while three of them have came on a 1-0 count. Dunn is 5-for-9 with 3 RBI with a 0-0 count, and is 4-for-4 with 8 RBIs on 1-0 counts. Last year? Dunn was 11-41 on 0-0 counts (with one HR) and 8-for-19 on 1-0 counts (zero HR). That appears to be one of the biggest reasons for Dunn's resurgence.

The Sox slugger also attributes his improvement to simply being looser than he was before. That, and he knows that Paul Konerko (hitting .347 with a 1.040 OPS) is batting behind him in the four spot.

Dunn has finally found his groove. If he keeps it up, his disastrous 2011 and slow start to 2012 can at last be forgotten.

 
GB store
GB store
GB store

Tailgate on Flickr

Join the Tailgate Flickr Pool.


About Tailgate

Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Chad Ruter, cr@gapersblock.com
Tailgate staff inbox: tailgate@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

Tailgate Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.


GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15