Saturday, June 23, 2007
(posted by OMDQ)
Despite the trade rumors that are constantly swirling around him, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Adam Dunn is having a typically solid season in 2007. His walk totals are down as we near the halfway point (he has 36 in 72 games thus far – the 75-80 that works out to over the course of a season would be his lowest total since 2003, when he only played in 116 games), but Dunn is on pace for more than 40 homeruns, 100 runs batted in and 100 runs scored. Ho-hum, la-dee-da, just another year at the office.
The other thing Dunn is doing, of course, is striking out a lot, which is the number on his stat line that REALLY has me interested. See, in the long, storied history of baseball, no individual player has ever struck out more than 200 times in a single season.
Not Bobby Bonds, who fanned 187 times in 1969, his second season, and followed that up with a then-record 189 the following year.
Not Jose Hernandez, who was actually held out of Milwaukee’s final four games in 2002 so he wouldn’t have to suffer the ignominy of breaking Bonds’ mark.
Not even Dunn himself, the current record-holder with seasons of 195 (2004) and 194 (2006) whiffs.
Through 72 games this season, however, Dunn is setting a pace that will push him well beyond that magical 200-strikeout barrier by the end of the 2007 season. He has gone down on strikes 95 times thus far, a number that places him sixteen ahead of his closest challenger and projects to a season total of 208 (assuming he sticks to his current pace of 158 games).
What will it mean if and when Dunn flies past that mark and establishes another new strikeout milestone? Chances are we’ll look at it the same way we did when Barry Bonds became the first to walk 200 times in a season, or when Maury Wills stole his 100th base, or when Bob Feller walked his 200th batter in 1938: as a mark that will probably be challenged and/or surpassed someday, but a fun number to remember nonetheless.
Because I guarantee that if Dunn cracks 200 this year, it will be one of those baseball records that sticks in my brain forever.
Photo: Yahoo! News