BOSTON — Adam Dunn, who doesn’t have a hit against left-handed pitching as a White Sox, was given a day off against left-hander Jon Lester when the Sox played the Red Sox on Monday night.
“I’ve never been through anything this long,” said Dunn, who has five home runs, 23 RBI, a .181 average and 69 strikeouts. “But again, you’re two good months away from being right on track, so it’s not the end of the world. If we’re sitting here in September, and this is like this, then we got problems. But we still got four months left. I’m going to keep fighting. I promise you.”
Dunn has been through slumps but for the new American Leaguer, this one is in a league of its own. Talking before the game, Dunn was at a loss to describe what the major issue is.
“This has been one of the tougher things for me,” he said. “I don’t know why it is. I know I’m coming to a new team, we’re not playing very well and I’m a big part of why we’re not doing well. I think that weighs a little more on me than in the past, but to get out of it, it’s not going to be to sit there and put all the pressure of the world on myself. It’s going to be basically say, ‘screw it and go out and have fun.’ I’ve been doing it since I was 4-years-old. I know how to hit. I just need to show it.”
Dunn said he has watched video and studied what his swing looked like when he played with the Nationals and Reds. Hitting coach Greg Walker has talked to former hitting coaches of Dunn on numerous occasions.
“I’ve done all that,” Dunn said. “I”ll let you see it and you tell me if you see anything. I can’t find anything. It’s baseball, I don’t know how else to put it. I feel like I’m fouling off the good ones and putting myself in a bind and swinging at the bad ones. It’s not a very good combinations.”
“I’m getting pitches like I do normally. It seems like when I get a pitch to hit, I foul it off. I’ve never fouled off this many balls in a year, let alone two months. It seems like every swing I take, I foul it off. I don’t know what it is. If I’m too late or what not. I don’t know. We’ll just keep grinding. It will come.”
“I feel timing wise I’m fine. I always look at stuff if getting deep on counts, I’m seeing it and on time. I’m not swinging at bad pitches. But the day before and it’s like I don’t know what happens. I wish I had the answer for you.”
Manager Ozzie Guillen hoped the day off would help Dunn, who signed a $56 million contract as a free agent during the offseason, to relax.
“I hope he’s not thinking, ‘They are paying me all this money. Look at what I’m doing.’ ” Guillen said. “That’s the wrong way to think. I talked to him in Toronto. You come here to help [Paul Konerko] and the rest of the guys. Don’t try to do much. Try to free your mind and just think about one day at a time. Hopefully that helps.”
Dunn has received all sorts of support from well-wishing friends, family and fans.
“It’s amazing the phone calls and emails I’ve been getting,” he said. “You would think this is the end of the world. But that is cool, people give a crap about you and don’t like to see you stink. But I don’t need a pep talk. I appreciate it, but I’m fine. I’ll make it.”