Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dynamic Duo

If the Reds could throw Aaron Harang every day and have Adam Dunn hit a homer, we'd be talking about them in the same breath as the 1927 Yankees and the 1906 Cubs. When Dunn homers in a game with Harang on the mound, the Reds are 18-4. The only other Reds pitcher to benefit from Dunn's homeruns ten or more times is Paul Wilson. When Wilson was on the mound and Dunn homered, the Reds were 10-5. Quite a difference.

The home run today was off of Shawn Chacon who is a native of Alaska so Dunn is showing a little equal opportunity now.

I'm going to be pessimistic about upcoming series now. When I was optimistic throughout April, Dunn was left homerless. I expressed doubts about this Pirates series and he belted two homers.

The Reds travel to Houston now where the ballpark resembles the Astrodome in ease of hitting home runs. Dunn will face the modern day equivalents of J.R. Richard, Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan; Matt Albers, perennial Cy Young candidate Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez.

Dunn last homered in Houston July 27 of last year off Taylor Buchholz.

Albers has a whole 27 major league innings under his belt. He faced Dunn last season, though. Walked him twice, struck him out twice, got him out one other time.

Oswalt gave up career home run number thirteen to Dunn all the way back in 2001. If memory serves, the park was still called Enron Field back then. Wow.

Wandy Rodriguez has faced Dunn in a game before. Dunn went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks. Dunn has homered off of Felix Rodriguez and would love to add another Rodriguez to the list of pitching victims.

Richie Hebner (203) is passed by Dunn.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Adam Dunn, racist

Dunn hit his fifth home run of the season last night and should be cited for mistreatment of Latin Americans. All five home runs he has hit this season have come off of Latin American born players. Carlos Zambrano and Tony Armas are Venezuelan born. Edgar Gonzalez is Mexican and last night's victim, Salomon Torres, hails from the Dominican Republic.

Forty of Dunn's career home runs have been off of Latin American pitchers:
Dominican Republic 16
Venezuela 14
Mexico 6
Cuba 2
Nicaragua 1
Puerto Rico 1

The home run tied Dunn with Eric Davis for sixth all-time on the Cincinnati Reds. George Foster is next at 244. Definitely passable this season.

Victor Santos was on the mound for the Reds when Dunn hit his homer. Santos is the third pitcher whom Dunn has hit a home run in support of after victimizing them earlier in his career (David Weathers and Kent Mercker are the others). Santos is Dominican so maybe this whole racist thing is being blown out of proportion by the blogosphere.

Dunn's home run led off the ninth inning, the 49th time he has led off an inning with a home run. The second inning (or secondo among those pitchers Dunn chooses to rough up) is Dunn's favorite for leadoff home runs. He has led off the second inning with a home run a dozen times.

Dunn passes Jose Cruz (who is the first player in a long time to catch Dunn after Dunn had passed them previously), Carl Everett, Bill Dickey, Sid Gordon, Todd Hundley, and Bill White (202).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another series

Still no home runs. Has it really been sixteen days since Dunn last homered?

It's home against the Pirates where and whom Dunn has hit two of his last five home runs. Forty percent of his recent success comes via this combination. That has to be good, right?

Native Delawarean Ian Snell goes for the Pirates in the first game. Snell is a tough right-hander who has never surrendered a hit to Dunn in nine plate appearances.

Tom Gorzelanny makes his debut against the Reds. He has been a dandy southpaw for the Pirates this season, winning three games already with an ERA of just 2.05.

Lefty Paul Maholm takes the hill to conclude the series. Dunn is just 2 for 17 against the lefty for his career.

I'm not feeling too good about this series.

Monday, April 23, 2007

All or nothing

It wasn't that long ago when Adam Dunn was leading the Reds in virtually every offensive category, he looked like he might hit 100 home runs this season, and everything was just hunky dorey.

Lately, though, it's just been blah.

First 9 games:
12 of 34, 4 HR, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts, .353 BA, .436 OBP, .735 SLG
Last 9 games:
8 for 36, 0 HR, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts, .222 BA, .300 OBP, .278 SLG

Thems some ugly numbers.

Onto the next series, hoping for some positive change in Dunn's output.

A trio in St. Louis. Kip Wells, Braden Looper and Randy Keisler take the hill for the Redbirds.

Three years ago Kip Wells gave up two home runs to Dunn, numbers 75 and 80, while a member of the Pirates. Braden Looper also has given up a pair to Dunn, numbers 96 and 120, while pitching for the New York Metropolitans. Keisler was a teammate of Dunn's two years ago and made everyone he faced look like Adam Dunn. Keisler allowed ten home runs in just 56 innings. For his career he has been touched for THIRTY home runs in just 144 innings. Keisler is like a left-handed Bert Blyleven without the talent.

I have to think there is a home run or three for Dunn in this series.

Dunn's last homer in St. Louis was August of last year against Jorge Sosa, who is now a AAA pitcher in the Mets organization.

I'm beginning to think Eric Davis has an Adam Dunn voodoo doll. Dunn's next homer ties Davis for 6th all-time among Reds players. C'mon, Eric. Let him hit it.

Friday, April 20, 2007


No homers against the Astros but now we're back to normal three game series. Jon Lieber takes the mound for the Phightin' Phils then Cole Hamels and Phreddie Garcia. Hamels is a tough young lefty. Dunn was 0 for 1 with a walk and a steal against him last year.

Garcia will make only his second start of the season as he has been on the disabled list with bicep tendinitis. Garcia has owned Dunn in his career, holding him to an 0 for 6 with phour strikeouts.

Jon Lieber, though....just one oph eight pitchers to give up a pair oph home runs to Dunn in a single game. Back on May 12, 2005, Lieber gave up home runs #127 and 128 to Dunn.

You have to go all the way back to September 24, 2005 to phind the last time Dunn homered at home against the Phillies. That one came ophph legendary pitcher Eude Brito. Brito is trying to come back phrom an automobile accident this past winter. Somewhere in that piece oph inphormation is a liphe lesson for pitchers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is this a better Dunn?

Dunn got his fourth stolen base of the season last night but exhibited some of his old strikeout form by striking out three times, the first time he has done so this season. It was the 54th time in his career Dunn has struck out that many times. I say old form but to suggest he has a new form, when he has struck out 16 times in thirteen games, is a little fallacious.

Things have been quiet on the home run front. The walk front, too, which is unusual. Just five so far.

Now it is another two game stand (damn schedulers). The Astros come into Cincy throwing Chris Sampson and Woody Williams. Williams has given up four homers to Dunn in his career. Sampson faced Dunn for the first time last season and held him to an 0 for 2 game with a walk.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Dunn did get a rest against a lefty although it was against Lilly and not Hill. No home runs in the two games in which he did play. No home runs by any Reds player since a Josh Hamilton blast in the eighth inning of the game Wednesday. Perhaps even more strange is that the only home run hit by either team this series was by Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano led all pitchers with six home runs last season.

The Reds come home for a pair against the Milwaukee Brewers. Chris Capuano, who surrendered home run #157 two years ago to Dunn, gets the start on the first game, Dave Bush starts the second game for the Brewers.

Last June, Dunn homered against the Brewers in all three games of a series at home against the Brewers. Perhaps not coincidentally, none of the three pitchers Dunn homered off of in that series (Doug Davis, Zach Jackson and Dan Kolb) are on the Brewers roster right now. Davis was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kolb and Jackson are in the minors; Kolb in the Pirates organization, Jackson with Milwaukee.

For the heck of it, Dunn's home runs broken down by runners on base:

Solo homers: 115
One man on: 61
Two men on: 20
Grand slams: 6

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Return to the arctic

After a road trip to Arizona, the Reds begin a three game series against the Cubs in the recently wintry city of Chicago. I don't have to reiterate just how delicious Dunn finds Cub pitching. There's just something about that Cub jersey that turns any pitcher into a batting practice pitcher for Dunn.

The series opener will be pitched by Carlos Zambrano who will attempt to pass Glendon Rusch for sole possession of most home runs given up to Dunn over a career.

Game two will be pitched by Rich Hill, one of the few pitchers (even given that he is a Cub) who I feel is a legitimately difficult pitcher for Dunn to homer against. While young, Hill is a talented lefty and has restricted Dunn to a single in seven at bats when they hve faced. I wouldn't be surprised if Dunn even gets a day off against Hill, I think he's that tough.

Ted Lilly goes in the third game. Lilly has looked good in his first two games as a Cub and has yet to surrender a home run this season. Reality will strike in this game, I feel it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I don't think many people read this blog

At least members of the media do not. All this hype over whether or not Aaron will be on hand if Bonds passes 755 when they should be asking Aaron his feelings about Dunn. He's on pace for an 80 homer season which puts him just six seasons short of Aaron's total at that pace.

The media also made a bit of a deal over the fact that this was the first time Dunn homered in the same game that Josh Hamilton homered. Not sure why the hype over that.

The Reds lost in extra innings, the first time this season they lost in a game where Dunn homered and the first time since September 2 of last year.

While we're continuing on other people's communication mistakes, I'm not keen about Dunn being dropped back into the third spot in the lineup but no one from the Reds has contacted me about my opinion.

Buddy Bell and Gene Tenace (201) not on hand to watch Dunn pass them.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Warm weather

The Reds have left cold Cincinnati for the warmth of Arizona. Dunn, who hails from Texas, will hopefully find the heat conducive to home run hitting. If not, the pitches of Doug Davis should prove tantalizing.

Davis, who joined the Diamondbacks in a trade, could join Kevin Millwood as the only pitchers to allow home runs to Dunn as a member of three different teams. Davis gave up #65 as a member of the Blue Jays in a 2003 interleague game and then gave up #180 playing for the Brewers.

Edgar Gonzalez and Micah Owings start the next two games for the Diamondbacks. Gonzalez surrendered home run #111 to Dunn in 2004.

Owings pitched a dandy game for his major league debut...or was it extended spring training? It was against the Nationals so you decide. Owings will face some higher competition in the NL Central contender Reds.

The home run Gonzalez gave up was the last time Dunn hit a home run in Arizona (August 29, 2004).

Power and speed

After Dunn's game yesterday it was really tempting to start tracking his pursuit of Rickey Henderson. Not for career walks, which has always been a temptation, but stolen bases. Dunn stole two bases in a game for the first time in his career and gave him 50 for his career.

With the benefit of Xavier Nady's glove and the weather, Dunn also hit home run number 201. Dunn hit a fly to center that carried and was caught by Nady but the ball popped out of his glove and over the fence for the home run. This was the sixth game of Dunn's career where he had both a steal and a homer in the same game.

#201 puts Dunn past Oscar Gamble, Bill Freehan and Don Mincher on the career list.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

2 HR on Opening Day + Series against the Cubs =

Irrational exuberance.

I figured that by the end of today Dunn would have about seventeen home runs. Instead he has a pair which still puts him on pace for a hundred by season's end.

The Reds are at home versus Pittsburgh to face Paul Maholm, Zach Duke and Tony Armas, Jr. Dunn has never hit a home run off of any of the trio. Dunn's last home run against Pittsburgh was the last one of the season for him last year (September 8, 2006 off Brian Rogers). Good googly moogly, we don't want a reprise of that.

Dunn loves to face the Pirates at home. Dunn has bashed fourteen home runs against the Pirates in Cincinnati. Only the Brewers have surrendered more to Dunn on his home field. The Pirates have the greatest disparity in home runs surrendered to Dunn at home versus their own park. Dunn has only hit a pair of home runs in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Basking in 200

Some notable notes about Dunn's home runs yesterday:

- They were the earliest home runs Dunn has ever hit in the major leagues. His first home run last season was previous earliest (April 3) and it also was off Carlos Zambrano.

- It was Dunn's 17th multi-home run game and fifth against the Cubs.

- This was the eighth time in his career Dunn has homered off a single pitcher twice in a game (Glendon Rusch, Kerry Wood, Brian Lawrence, Jon Lieber, Wayne Franklin, Mark Mulder and Brett Tomko are the others)

- Dunn has hit as many home runs this April as he did last September.

- Aaron Harang got the win for the Reds. The last time Harang lost in a game Dunn homered in was June 12, 2006.

- Monday is no longer Dunn's worst day for hitting homers. He had only hit 20 on Monday and Thursday before yesterday. Saturdays are his best day (36).

Ted Lilly makes his less than triumphant return to the National League tomorrow (he was an Expo in 1999) and will hopefully be like his Cub brethren and surrender home runs to Dunn.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hello, new season!!!

You know what I was saying about Dunn batting second? Based on a sample size of Opening Day, I'm thinking it's a good thing. Two homers in two at bats off of the Chicago Cubs' Carlos Zambrano. Granted it is the Cubs, the providers of exactly 15% of Dunn's 200 home runs. And with these two, Zambrano now is tied with Glendon Rusch for most home runs surrendered. So maybe it is a little early. Here are Dunn's career home run rates by batting order spot (HR/PA) to ponder:

1: 10.0%
2: 5.9%
3: 4.9%
4: 5.1%
5: 6.5%
6: 6.0%
7: 6.0%
8: 0.0%
9: 4.8%

Heck, maybe just have to move him up to the leadoff spot. Well, the game's not over yet but I had to write because I'm excited about #200!!!!.

Cesar Cedeno, Jackie Jensen, Jorge Posada (199), Jose Cruz, and Barry Larkin (198) are passed by Dunn.