"But, Chip. I'm OBP'n at .386 right now!" (Not a real quote) Nats' 1B Adam Dunn cracks the Braves' Chipper Jones up at first during Tuesday night's game at Nationals Park. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Were you yelling for Adam Dunn to swing last night in the ninth when he came up against Atlanta reliever Kris Medlin with the bases empty, one out and the game tied at 6-6? Adam Dunn had already walked in 3 of 5 at bats, adding to his team-leading 22 walk total, and he'd popped out in the only at bat he didn't walk in before the Nats' ninth...And there he was, with the DC Faithful clamoring for a walkoff blast while the big patient hitter took five fastballs from Medlin, the fifth for a called strike three Dunn thought was low but the Ump and Pitch f/x on MLB Gameday thought caught the low inside corner. Here's the Gameday Pitch Tracker for Dunn vs Medlin. What do you want your Adam Dunn to do? Swing away looking for the long ball and more than likely adding to an already high K total, or adding to his OBP with a patient approach as he waits for his pitch and attempts to launch another towering HR? DC Skipper Jim Riggleman was on Sirius/XM's First Pitch this morning with MASN Nats tv analyst and Sirius/XM host Rob Dibble and Jeff Joyce when Mr. Dibble asked the Nats' manager what he wanted to see from his cleanup hitter...
Rob Dibble: "Is it frustrating sometimes to watch Adam Dunn be so patient? Because he had three walks early in the game and then he took some pitches in the extra innings that, if he was a DH in the American League, you'd want him to hack at those, but sometimes Adam's looking walk and he's got a certain thought process, have you discussed maybe him expanding his zone from time to time?"
Jim Riggleman: "I tell you what, Dib. You hit it right on the head. You know, that's been discussed many times, people in the organization have had a lot of history with him, like Tim Foli from the Cincinnati days and so forth, and [Hitting Coach Rick] Eckstein and myself and others have mentioned to him how much damage he could do by not taking as much, and you know, I can't explain it, but there's just something about these guys, I mean you can go back to the history of Ted Williams in the game who they say they used to try to get him to go out of the zone a little more and swing at some pitches, and he just either couldn't do it, wouldn't do it, wasn't comfortable with it, it messed up his game or whatever, but, I know what you're alluding to, you know, I felt the same way in the last inning, if he airs one out there, who knows what happens. But, he's selective up there, his OBP is usually up around .400, it's been a successful style of play for him, but I hear what you're saying, every now and then you'd like to see him go out of the zone and hit one even if it's the other way."
• Do you agree with Dibble and Riggleman? Should Dunn be looking to get on base or win it with one swing? Is it a situational decision? Can you ask a hitter who's consistently hit HR's his whole career to adjust his approach, or do you accept Dunn as he is?