Adam Dunn has totally cratered

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We talked over the weekend about how low Jayson Werth could get.  One possible answer: not as low as Adam Dunn, right?  To see just how ugly* Dunn’s season has been, check out Brett Ballantini’s breakdown of it over at CSN Chicago.  It’s pretty mind-blowing.  There’s a Rob Deer comparison in there. And I think it may be insulting to Deer.

Dunn’s collapse has been more shocking than Werth’s, simply because Dunn had probably been the most consistent ballplayer in all of baseball these past few years. Really, if you had to place money on any individual player’s performance in 2011, you probably would have placed it on Dunn having a season more or less like his past few, wouldn’t you have? Especially with the move to a hitter-friendly park and a division with worse pitching than he’s seen in the National League East the past few years?

It’s one of the biggest cliches going, but baseball is a funny game. Out of nowhere this sort of stuff happens.

*I at first wrote “To see just how uggla Dunn’s season has been …”  Which is interesting from a Freudian slip perspective, but in reality, is kind of unfair to Dan Uggla. If, in fact, anything one does to Dan Uggla short of summary execution could be considered unfair this year.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.