Dunn in the lineup tonight; magic number is 9 | Bleader

Dunn in the lineup tonight; magic number is 9

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  • Johnny Samson
Excitement for White Sox fans! Manager Ozzie Guillen has penciled Adam Dunn into the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Indians in Cleveland, giving the Big Breeze a few more chances in his quest to set the team strikeout record. Dunn only needs nine more Ks to break Dave Nicholson's 1963 record of 175 whiffs in a season.

The outlook for a new record had dimmed earlier this month when Ozzie had handcuffed the Breeze to the bench. But with first place now safely out of sight, Ozzie has freed his slugger, and Dunn has quickly proven he's not out of gas, fanning another six times in his last four games.

Nicholson's 1963 record was an especially remarkable achievement because he hit so badly—a lowly .229—that he played in only 126 of the team's 162 games. He managed those 175 Ks in just 449 official at bats. But Dunn has outdone him in underperforming, playing in only 116 games (the Sox have eight remaining), and accumulating his Ks in just 398 ABs.

Dunn is also in a personal race between strikeouts and batting average: he's hitting .166, with 167 Ks. He could become the second non-pitcher in baseball history to have his strikeout total exceed his batting average. The first was Mark Reynolds, who last season whiffed a spectacular 211 times for the Diamondbacks while batting .198.

Tune in tomorrow to hear why we think the Sox should pursue Reynolds, a third baseman now with the Orioles, in the off-season. But for now, keep an eye on the Big Breeze tonight; he's not done yet.

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