Sunday, May 20, 2007

Awful yet good

Despite not hitting a home run in the last ten days, Dunn is still fourth in the National League in home runs. He is also twelfth in the league in stolen bases. Eighth in runs, thirteenth in walks and triples. Seventh in slugging and twelfth in OPS. He's having a nice season.

Ten days is a long time to go without homering, though. It is unclear whether this next series will end the drought or not. The Reds have four games against the Washington Nationals. Since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington, D.C. before the 2005 season, Dunn has hit only a single home run against the Nationals.

The Nationals this season are staffed with a bunch of unknown quantities. The first game of the series has rookie Levale Speigner (i before e except after Levale Sp) making his second major league start. He has not allowed a home run in almost nineteen innings pitched in the majors.

Another rookie, Matt Chico, starts the second game. Chico has been a starter since the beginning of the season, in name if not in performance. A 5.44 ERA and seven homers in less than 45 innings bodes well for Dunn and the Reds.

Jason Simontacchi is a long-time veteran by Nationals standards. Back in 2003, Simontacchi gave up home runs in consecutive starts to Dunn (home runs #55 and 58) while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. Simontacchi started for two more months, switched to relief and then has struggled to get a role in the majors since. He makes his fourth start as a National.

Mike Bacsik wraps up the series. Back in 2002 Dunn homered off him (#37). Bacsik has followed the Simontacchi career path since Dunn hit his homer. Both pitchers are probably emotional wrecks. I'm predicting ten home runs in this series.


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