Talk all you want about Phil Humber walking former White Sox-farmhand-turned-slugger Mike Morse and surrendering the game-winning two-run homer to Danny Espinosa in today’s 2-1 Sox loss to the Nationals. Humber was brilliant today, as he has been all season, and deserved better.
It was same old story. The offense that was supposed to be a sure thing is anything but. That’ll happen when you’ve got at least four decent to outstanding major league hitters–Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham and Juan Pierre–all underachieving. Although I’m happy to say that Rios has recently shown some signs of life.
I feel like a broken record when I mention those names. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve written them in the context of poor offensive production.
When it comes to Dunn, underachieving doesn’t come close to describing his performance in a Sox uniform. It’s an historical collapse the likes of which we–at least I–can’t remember seeing before. Get this:
- He now has an even 100 strikeouts in 67 games. Amazing.
- He whiffed a total of seven times–four today and three Saturday–in the last two games.
- He is hitting .173 overall. Hard to believe.
- His batting average at home is .126. Not exactly a fan-friendly formula.
- He is now 1 for 53 against lefties. Can you say platoon?
And this is the guy who has hit 38 homers and 100 RBIs-plus the past two seasons. Not to mention he has the most home runs in the majors this decade, behind only Albert Pujols.
So what can be done? It seems nothing for now. The truth is that as tempting as it is to bench him and bring up Dayan Viciedo for some DH duty, it’s not going to happen. The club, because of the financial commitment and the need for his potentially-potent big bat, seems like they are going to live and die with the slugger.
And once we solve Dunn’s problems, there’s the matter of the others. Our work is never done.