Reds slugger Adam Dunn figured his consecutive hits streak would end in Milwaukee anyway, so he wasn’t afraid to talk about it before Friday’s game.
“I haven’t had a hit up here since ‘Nam,” joked Dunn while playing cards at a clubhouse table with Ken Griffey Jr. and coaches Billy Hatcher and Chris Chambliss. “Let’s get the jinx going.”
Dunn hit a routine pop-out to first base in his first at-bat. He came into the series with a .211 career average at Miller Park, with eight homers and 19 RBIs in 44 games.
Then again, the left fielder was a .186 hitter at Minute Maid Park before the just-completed series at Houston. Dunn left town on Thursday night having collected hits in seven straight at-bats and reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances. After he went 4-for-4 on Wednesday, he went 3-for-3 with a home run and two walks on Thursday. The two-run homer was a booming shot to left field that had a conservatively estimated distance of 450 feet.
Getting most of his at-bats lately in the lineup’s No. 2 spot, Dunn has been the Reds’ hottest hitter. He entered Friday’s game batting .417 (20-for-48) since the All-Star break and in 27 games since June 25, was hitting .358 with eight homers and 25 RBIs. Overall, the 26-year-old leads the club with 31 homers and 71 RBIs while batting .261.
At the time his hitting tear began, Dunn was batting just .221….
Dunn drew heat during this season’s first half because of his low average and lack of RBIs in big situations. But it’s hard to find fault with this number — he’s 10-for-his-last-20 (.500) with runners in scoring position.
“People got down on Dunner earlier in the year, but you can look at the end of the year, every year, and his numbers are going to be almost the same,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “He’s probably on a better pace this year, RBI-wise, than he has been. Everybody says he can’t drive in runs.”
Dunn, who produced 100-RBI and 100-run seasons in 2004-05, wasn’t concerned about silencing his critics.
“That’s not my goal. I couldn’t care less to be honest with you,” Dunn said. “I just knew that I wasn’t playing good, period. That’s all it was. My goal in the second half was to try and help the team a lot more to stay where we were.”
Boy, those media-types love batting average, don’t they?
I’m just glad to see Dunn getting some positive attention in the media. Seems like he’s the whipping boy all the time, which is unfair since he’s clearly the most productive Red.