Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Name Game

Adam Dunn hit two homers today. The first was off of Zach Duke. While Dunn has never homered off of any other pitcher with a title for a last name (no Kings, Queens, Bishops, etc.), Duke is the third Zach Dunn has hit a homer against (the others being Day and Jackson). Dunn hit his first home run immediately after Edwin Encarnacion had gone yard himself, the eighth time Dunn has followed a teammate who had hit a home run with one of his own and the second time Encarnacion and Dunn had gone 1-2.

The second home run of the day came off Jonah Bayliss and was hit in support of Brad Salmon. Somewhere there is a biblical reference in there.

This was Dunn's eighteenth career two home run game and only the fourth where the Reds lost. The last time Dunn hit a pair of home runs in a losing effort was also against the Pirates on June 27, 2004.

Sunday is Dunn's preferred day for hitting multiple home runs. Five of the eighteen games have been Sunday games. Monday and Tuesday are second with three apiece. Sundays are not good days for the Reds. When Dunn hits two home runs on a Sunday, the Reds are 2-3. Any other day they are 12-1.

Dunn has caught or passed some active players on the home run list today. Nomar Garciaparra and Alfonso Soriano both have 212 career home runs as of this writing. Carlos Beltran has 211.

Name Age AB
Dunn 27 3008
Garciaparra 33 5016
Beltran 30 4743
Soriano 31 4074

Garciaparra isn't really regarded as a power hitter but Beltran and Soriano both are. Dunn is three years younger than Beltran and has 1000 fewer AB than Soriano, further evidence that Dunn is in a class by himself.

Some other guys Dunn has passed today: Roberto Alomar, Jeff Conine, Brady Anderson, Rico Petrocelli and Wally Post (210). Kevin McReynolds, Moose Skowron and Leon Wagner (211).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two whole weeks

Finally Adam Dunn hit another home run after two whole weeks of nothing. The thing is, the pattern is very similar to Dunn's 2004 season when he hit 46 home runs. In 2004, Dunn hit 11 homers through May 11th (Dunn hit his 11th on May 10th this year). He then proceeded to go 18 days without another one and ended May with just a dozen homers.

Three multi-homer games in June helped move Dunn end that month in 2004 with 23 homers. So even with the dry spell, the season is far from lost.

Dunn's homerun tonight was yet another leadoff shot, giving him 51 for his career.

The Bucs come to town for four starting tomorrow. Maholm, Chacon, Duke and Snell will start for Pittsburgh. Chacon gave up homer #204 to Dunn a month ago. The other three are still looking for the opportunity to surrender a home run to Dunn.

Now no one has 209 home runs as Dunn moves into a multi-way tie for 248th all-time. The 210 is a figure Dunn has reached in just his seventh season. Only 16 players have hit more in their first seven seasons and Dunn still has plenty of games left before his seventh is complete. If he were to hit 28 more to give him 40 for the season and 238 for his career, only Kiner, Pujols, Mathews and Frank Robinson would have more home runs in their first seven seasons.

I don't know about you but sometimes in these slumps I need a little reminder of just how incredible Dunn is.

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.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A home run named Ferris

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Where art thou, home run? Time went by and I missed the whole San Diego series. And now that whole abomination called interleague play begins. The Reds travel to Jacobs Field to face the Indians. Dunn's last home run against an AL opponent was against Cleveland (#184 off of Bob Wickman) and his last one at an AL ballpark was at Jacobs Field (#182 off Jeremy Sowers). Cleveland has surrendered the most home runs to Dunn of any American League team (5)

Sowers goes Saturday for the Tribe. Cliff Lee and Paul Byrd bookend that game. Dunn has never homered off either pitcher.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


A co-worker of mine made the suggestion that if a movie is made about Adam Dunn, Will Ferrell should get the title role. Definitely an apropos choice.

But the title of this post is not in reference to a Will Ferrell movie. Got you there, didn't I? It is the German word for the number eleven which is the number of home runs Dunn has this season. Verstehen Sie?

The home run today came off Matt Albers who is not the earliest pitcher in alphabetical order that Dunn has homered off. Terry Adams holds that distinction. Albers is second. If you guessed that favorite victim Carlos Zambrano is last on that list, you would guess right.

This home run makes five straight against the Astros. Even still, the Astros are only fifth in home runs surrendered to Dunn, last among NL Central teams.

The Reds travel to the stadium that is home of Dunn's longest National League home run drought, Dodger Stadium. The last time Dunn hit a home run there was May 2, 2002. 184 home runs have flown off of Dunn's bat at other stadia since then.

Lefty Randy Wolf starts game one of the series. Dunn hit home run #67 off him.

Brad Penny, author of home run #85 pitches the middle game and the series concludes with gigantic southpaw Mark Hendrickson wrapping it up. Dunn is 3 for 5 with a trio of singles lifetime against Hendrickson.

The 6'9" Hendrickson will become the tallest person to surrender a home run to Dunn, surpassing Daniel Cabrera and Ben Ford. Shane Nance is the shortest pitcher to be victimized by Dunn.

Dunn is all alone at 209 home runs right now. He passed Phil Nevin, Devon White and a favorite player of my childhood, Jason Thompson (208).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Adam Dunn, master of cloning

Adam Dunn hit a homer against the Astros today. He did the same thing two days before and five days before that and the day before that. This marks the second time in Dunn's career that he has hit four consecutive home runs against a team. On April 18th, 2005 Dunn hit a pair off of Kerry Wood. A week later he went deep off Chad Fox before wrapping up the run the following day against Carlos Zambrano (another kind of home run Dunn is fond of cloning).

Unfortunately, there is another streak going on. The Reds have lost the game the last three times Dunn has homered. This has not happened since a run of four losses in Dunn homer games from June 9-13 last year.

Back on May 2nd, I pointed out that Dunn had never homered with a runner on third with one out. Cross that off the "to do" list. Dunn's homer came after a Brandon Phillips triple and a Ken Griffey, Jr. line out.

Kirby Puckett and Richie Zisk (I miss Richie Zisk. Let's clone him) fall further down the career home run list (207)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No waiting

After going the longest span between home runs against a pitcher, Dunn homered off Roy Oswalt at his next opportunity. Dunn hit a two out home run in the second inning of the Reds 5-4 loss to the Astros, just five days after he had homered off Oswalt in another losing effort. This was only the second time in his career that Dunn hit consecutive home runs off a pitcher that were not in the same game. Dunn hit home runs 125 and 126 off of the Cardinals' Carmen Cali, May 2nd and 4th of 2005.

Alex Gonzalez followed Dunn's homer with one of his own marking the first time Dunn had been part of back-to-back home runs since August 13th of last season.

Gus Bell, Pete Incaviglia, Bobby Abreu and Felipe Alou are passed. Dunn is three home runs away from entering the top 250 of all-time.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Running behind

Didn't update after homer #206 was hit on May 2nd, Dunn's third consecutive game with a home run.

The home run came off Roy Oswalt. Dunn homered off of Oswalt all the way back on August 30, 2001 (#13), a span of 2071 days between home runs. The previous longest span between homers off of a pitcher that Dunn had was 1454 days. Dunn hit his second home run ever against Brian Lawrence and then hit a pair (#'s 147 and 148) almost four years later.

This was also the ninth time in Dunn's career where he hit home runs in three consecutive games or better.

After going 0 for the Rockies, it is once again the Astros facing the Reds.

Oswalt gets the call for the first game followed by Wandy Rodriguez, Woody Williams and Matt Albers. We covered all but Williams just last series. Williams has been a favorite target of Dunn's. Four of his home runs have been of Williams' pitches.

Williams is Dunn's favorite double initial pitcher (W.W.). The others: Carmen Cali (2), Chad Cordero, Chris Capuano, Chris Carpenter, Clay Condrey, Doug Davis (2), Jason Jennings, Mark Mulder (3), Matt Morris, Mike Maroth and Scott Sauerbeck.

Dunn passes Ducky Joe Medwick at 205.

Who likes the little little duckies in the pond? I do, I do, I do, kachicka quack quack.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

First time

You wouldn't think someone with 205 homers to his credit could do something really unique with a home run but Adam Dunn did last night. With two outs and runners on second and third, Dunn homered to right off of Trever Miller. Amazingly, this was the first time Dunn homered with runners on second and third and two outs in his career.

OK, maybe not so amazing. Dunn has also not homered with runners at the corners and no outs, with a runner on third and one out, runners at second and third with one out or bases loaded with no out.

In other ways, this homer was repetitive. For instance, every home run Dunn has hit off a Miller has been against the Astros (#35 was against Wade).

Rico Carty and Wally Joyner are passed (204).