Adam Dunn struck out four times yesterday to reach 100 strikeouts for the season, which is pretty remarkable considering the White Sox have played 79 games and Dunn himself has appeared in just 67 of them.
To put that in some context, 100 strikeouts in 67 games works out to 239 strikeouts per 160 games and the major-league record for strikeouts in a season is 223 by Mark Reynolds in 2009.
In general focusing on a hitter’s strikeout total is misguided, as Reynolds batted .260 with 44 homers and an .892 OPS in his record-setting season and plenty of hitters have been very productive while joining the single-season strikeout leaderboard. Dunn, however, is hitting just .173 with a .624 OPS, including an almost unbelievable 1-for-53 mark versus left-handed pitching and a .126 batting average at home, where he’s been booed often.
Dunn isn’t going to set any strikeout records because the White Sox have taken to benching him regularly against lefties, but on a per-plate appearance basis he’s whiffing more than anyone in baseball history: 35.8 percent. His career mark coming into this season: 26.9 percent.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.