Since I was kind of critical of Adam Dunn in that earlier posting about his ninth-inning strikeout last night (in which he watched five straight pitches from Kris Medlen pass him by without ever swinging) it was only fair that I gave Dunn a chance to explain his thinking in that at-bat.
What follows is the transcript of my conversation with Dunn after batting practice this afternoon. As you'll see, he's still killing himself over that strikeout, but he also believes he's got the right approach to hitting and shouldn't change it.
Here you go...
Mark Zuckerman: "In a situation like last night, the ninth inning, do you approach that any different than you would any other at-bat during the game?"
Adam Dunn: "Yeah, I've been thinking about that. Last night was a product of my patience killing me. First of all, if [Brian] McCann's not back there calling pitches -- because he's one of my buddies -- then I get what I'm looking for. The guy's best pitch is his change-up. So I was sitting on change-up the entire at-bat. And of course, I didn't get one. But I've still got to be able to swing. That's just a bad at-bat. Just a bad at-bat."
MZ: "How tough is it to condition yourself to think like that? Or was that just an isolated case last night?"
AD: I mean, when a guy's best pitch is his change-up, and I'm a lefty ... that's why I think it was great calling by McCann. If it's not him ... because he knows me so well, he knows I'm sitting change-up, so he's not going to throw me one, he's going to throw me nothing but heaters. Last night, he knew I was sitting on change-up. But those pitches were still right there. I've got to ... it sucks."
MZ: "Have you, in your progression as a professional hitter, thought about trying to do anything different with two strikes? Or is that tough to do, to change your approach only once you get to that point in the at-bat?"
AD: I don't think my approach changes too much with two strikes. See, I go by feel. When I get two strikes and I do try to open up the strike zone a little bit, I swing at balls I would never swing at. So I'd like to keep the same approach I have the whole at-bat, even when I get two strikes. Because I don't swing at bad pitches normally. That would help me out with two strikes, I would think. But when I get two strikes, if I think, 'OK put the ball in play,' the next thing you know, I'm swinging at pitches I can't do anything with. I'd like to keep the same approach, but for some reason, it's really hard to do."
MZ: "Some people might look at it like you went up there trying to draw a walk."
AD: "No. I never try to draw a walk. I never, NEVER, go up there looking to draw a walk. That's the last thing I was trying to do last night. A walk's not going to do any good there. I was trying to win the game. It was just a bad at-bat."