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Adam Dunn had a spectacular week in his pursuit of the White Sox season strikeout record. The Big Breeze fanned seven times in three games last weekend against the Angels. As kinesiologists will tell you, swinging and missing is actually much more stressful on tendons and ligaments and key muscle groups than swinging and hitting; so after Dunn's weekend whiffest, Ozzie Guillen wisely gave him the day off on Monday in Tampa Bay. A rested Dunn returned to the lineup on Tuesday and struck out another five times in the final three games of the series with the Rays. He’s now got a ten-game missing streak going. Dave Nicholson’s Sox season strikeout record, set in 1963, is 175; the magic number for Dunn already is down to 156. And it’s still April.
Since he returned to “action” April 12 after an appendectomy, the designated hitter’s bat has been virtually unhittable: in eight games and 31 at bats, he’s fanned 16 times. That’s three more times than Sox second baseman Nellie Fox fanned in the entire 1959 season (156 games, 624 at bats).
"I'm taking the good ones and swinging at the bad ones," Dunn told reporters Wednesday. "But again that's something I have gone through many, many, many, many, many, many, many times in my career."
Which is very, very, etc, comforting.
Surely his operation is somehow responsible for the Big Breeze’s remarkable recent numbers. Fans should note that the number-one nonfiction best-seller on the New York Times's combined print and E-book list is Heaven Is For Real, the story of a three-year-old’s “encounter with Jesus and the angels during an emergency appendectomy,” according to the Times. Perhaps during his own operation Dunn encountered Buddha, leading to his current meditative bearing at the plate.
The Reader has learned that after his operation, Dunn was put on a prescription drug whose side effects include indecision and slowed bat speed. At the hospital, Dunn’s bat was given an MRI, which found nothing.
So far: 12 games, 45 ABs, 19 Ks.