May 6, 2010, 6:40 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Adam Dunn watches strike three pass by in the ninth inning last night.
Adam Dunn saw 24 pitches over the span of five plate appearances last night. He swung at five of them, only one of the final 15 he faced.
There were plenty of contributing factors in the Nationals' 7-6, 10-inning loss to the Braves, and there's no telling whether Dunn would have made a difference had he taken the bat off his shoulder at some point. But it is fair to question the slugger's penchant for being overly patient at the plate, something we've seen repeatedly over the last season-plus.
The critical at-bat for Dunn last night was his final one, which came with one out and no one on in the ninth inning of a tie game. Would his presence on base have been helpful? Sure. He would have represented the tie run, and had he drawn a walk, he could have been driven in by Ivan Rodriguez or Cristian Guzman.
But Dunn also could have won the game all by himself had he connected on any of the five fastballs Atlanta reliever Kris Medlen threw his way. Instead, he watched all five pitches whiz by, including two straight strikes to end the at-bat.
Dunn is being paid $12 million this season, most of anyone on the Nationals roster, to produce runs. Sometimes that can be via his lofty on-base percentage (which at the moment is .386). More often, though, he is being asked to produce runs by putting the ball in play.Read more »
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