Dunn went 0 for 4 last night, dropping his average to a Rob Deer-like .233. Dunn's ability to draw walks, though, has helped enable him be second in the league in runs scored to the Cardinals Albert Pujols.
Today the Phillies travel to Cincinnati and minor league sensation Cole Hamels will take the mound for Philadelphia. Dunn has never homered off of any pitcher making his major league debut. The closest he came suspended a career. The Giants Merkin Valdez made his debut as a relief pitcher on August 1, 2004. The first batter he faced was the above mentioned Albert Pujols who doubled off him. Valdez then got Scott Rolen out and was removed from the game.
Four days later, Valdez entered in the middle of an already ugly inning against the Reds. After four hits, an error, a hit by pitch and a force out, Valdez came in as the third pitcher of the eighth inning. Valdez struck out Ken Griffey, Jr. for the second out. A pair of walks and a single brought up Dunn for the second time in the inning. Dunn homered and then Valdez retired Wily Mo Pena to end the inning.
Valdez was optioned to the minors the following day. He is still regarded as a pitching prospect but after six seasons as a starter, he is struggling with becoming a closer this season. Let this be an object lesson for Cole Hamels.