Adam-12 responded to the call for offense last night going 3-4 with a double and 2 homeruns becoming responsible for 5 of the White Sox 7 runs on the night. Dunn has now lifted his average to .265 on the year. Small sample sizes: allowing averages to top and bottom out in a matter of days. Yes, .265 is the high end average for Adam Dunn.
White Sox: 7
Chris Sale pitched well over his 6.1 innings striking out eleven (11!) Mariners batters. He gave up 3 runs including a homerun to Jesus Montero. A Sox bullpen pitched scoreless baseball the rest of the way. Hector Santiago got in on that, making his first appearance since the blown save to Baltimore and all pitched balls stayed in the park!
Paulie, AJ and our Cubans went hitless on the night. Where I am going with this? Perhaps with the exception of De Aza, all of our hits were generated by the big question marks. Dunn with a big day, Rios with a hit and an RBI, even Morel and Beckham got in on the action with a hit each.
Darrin Jackson had an interesting theory about why Brent Morel has struggled. The 2-hole. As was discussed plenty in the off-season, Morel improved at the plate by a wide margin in September of 2011, due in large part to a plate approach that had him being more aggressive at the plate, and pulling balls into left field rather than waiting back on everything for pokes into right field. DJ mentioned that perhaps the pressure of what a traditional #2 hitter is expected to do, which is hit the ball into right field has cut that aggression off and brought him back to pulling all of his hits out of the catcher’s glove. Tardy fouling off balls to right field has been a big thing for Brent this year. Maybe by moving him out of the 2 spot he can get past that and build on what he had working to end 2011.
Plus: Alejandro De Aza showing the successful end of both of my big pain points so far. A successful steal of bases (praise the gods) and bunting for a hit. I don’t have any problem with bunting for a hit, even if the end result isn’t the hitter standing on first. It’s the flat out sac-bunts that eat me up but there was a man on base for this and though I do think he was bunting for a hit the whole way I’m willing to concede credit to “best outcome” of a sacrifice bunt. Gordon Beckham did happen to get thrown out stealing later in the game so…
Minus: Sale once again threw a lot of pitches (110) in his 6 and a third. It’s a tradeoff I’ll gladly take when he’s striking out batters at the rate that he did however his K rate isn’t likely to stay that high and I’d really like to see him get deeper into his games and conserve some of those pitches.
My eyes – Adam Dunn’s first homerun I felt was an indicator that this game was all done.
The numbers – Adam Dunn’s double was actually the largest shift in Win Expectancy (14.8%).