Adam Dunn reaches 100 strikeouts in his 67th game

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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.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.