Reading Room: Dunn missing, miffed

We're simply running out of words to describe Adam Dunn's season. Fortunately, there's video!

I went to Dunn's MLB.com player page and found video of his four strikeouts from Sunday afternoon, which gave him an even 100 on the season. And unlike their other videos, there's no embargo on embedding. Nobody has to wait to see Dunn once again plow through rock bottom to find yet another new low.

Dunn now has multiple strikeouts in six consecutive games (2-for-24, 16 strikeouts), and Ozzie Guillen is swinging and missing with ideas on how to help:

"We talk to him this morning; we talk to him about it, how we feel about him," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It was a great conversation. But the only thing is, you can pitch batting practice, take extra hitting and talk to them, but in the end of the day, he's the one who has to come out of that. What can you do about it? Nothing. You have to keep plugging in the lineup and make sure he knows we are behind him." [...]

"He will be on the bench tomorrow and the next day," Guillen said about Monday's off day and Tuesday's series opener at Colorado. "I can't bench that guy. He's making how much? All kind of money. We bring him to help us. He's not going to help us on the bench.

"The only way he can help us is to go out there and do it. Sometimes you bench guys not to punish them. You bench people to relax a little bit and don't think about the game. Hopefully that thing helps."

There's one thing Guillen hasn't tried: pinch-hitting for him in late-game situations.

 

For instance, on Sunday, he faced Washington lefty Sean Burnett to lead off the eighth inning with the Sox trailing by a run, and he struck out.

Dunn is 1-for-53 against lefties this year, and that one hit was an infield single. Opponents are taking advantage of this, because as bad as Dunn's hitting this year, he's even more of a liability in the last three innings, batting .092 (6-for-65). Guillen would be absolutely justified in pinch-hitting somebody like Brent Lillibridge for him. That's what Guillen did when Mark Teahen came to the plate to face Burnett to start the ninth.

But here's where my lack of a big-league career comes back to bite me (see also: bank account). For competitive people, getting yanked out of the game in a key moment has to rate up there on the gut-punch scale. On a scale of 1 to "disemboweling," I'd say it's at least an "internal bleeding." Plus, I'm sure they're both visualizing the clutch homer that allows Dunn to enjoy a long-overdue curtain call for genuine applause, and thinking that would go a long way to cure ills.

The prospect of important lefty-on-lefty hits grows dimmer, though, and .500 never gets any closer. Something has to give, and pinch-hitting for Dunn should be among the next things to try. Maybe it won't work, but at this point, it'd be really hard to make Dunn's season even worse.

Star-divide

Like everybody else, J.J. wants Dayan Viciedo, but the Tank is only a diversion from Dunn's mounting problems.

James recaps a 3-3 week that leaves the Sox dreaming of being a game below .500.

Scott Merkin says the Sox "feel comfortable using [Brian Bruney] in pressure situations," and that should trouble a lot of people.

Matt Thornton declines an opportunity to throw Alexei Ramirez under a bus:

"I can't recall Alexei making an error in the last month and a half, and he's made unbelievable plays for me over the last four years," Thornton said. "People are going to make errors."

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