Sox Drawer: Game one Dunn

Sox Drawer: Game one Dunn

Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted 10:30 p.m. Updated 10:50 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio - When you stand 6-foot-6, weigh 280 pounds, and can hit a baseball into different area codes, you can carry a baseball team.

Judging by his first game with the White Sox, Adam Dunn is ready to carry his teammates, his coaches and maybe the entire South Side of Chicago on his back in 2011.

Dunns Sox debut was a smashing success. He went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs, including a towering home run in the third inning that was hit so high that, according to NASA, should touch down sometime around September.

You know it was a 3-2 count, (Fausto Carmona) threw me a backdoor breaking ball at my first at-bat and made me look foolish, Dunn said on Galaxie White Sox Post-Game Live on CSN. I was really just trying to protect the plate, and he was trying to throw me a nice little sinker, and I just touched it.

Thats right. Dunn said he touched it. Imagine where the ball would have gone had he crushed it. A different planet I suppose.

His two-run blast gave the White Sox a 4-0 lead, and set the tone for the rest of the game, as the Sox took a whopping 14-0 lead by the fourth inning. Yes, the pitching staff broke down after that, getting outscored 10-1 the rest of the way.

But the damage had been done. Thanks to Dunn.

That was great. I mean, offensively we came out swinging the bats well. It was a great game, a typical American League game Im assuming, Dunn said with a smile.

15-10 scores were made for a guy like him.

As a first time, full-time designated hitter, this is new territory for the former National Leaguer. Dunn is used to playing the outfield or first base, not pacing the dugout for 98 percent of the game waiting for his turn to bat. He says that learning how to pace himself for nine innings is his biggest challenge with the White Sox. But on days when the offense tilts the scoreboard like a pinball machine, its an easy adjustment to make.

Today was very easy because it seemed like I was up every inning, Dunn said. I really didnt do anything different today just because of that. I had four at bats in five innings, so I just really didnt change anything, just sitting there, still sweating from the last one.

Dunns home run in his Sox debut is nothing new for South Side sluggers. Looking back several decades, you have to wonder if going deep in his first game was actually written in the mans contract.

Al Simmons, Dick Allen, Minnie Minoso, Carlton Fisk, Sammy Sosa, Albert Belle, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome all homered in their Sox debuts. After signing that huge 56 million dollar contract in the off-season, Dunn could have struggled with the pressure out of the gate.

Clearly that didnt happen.

I think its good for him, Ozzie Guillen said. Hes coming from a new team and a lot of expectations. All the people in Chicago expect him to do well, and this takes the monkey off his back.

So how many dingers will the Big Donkey hit this year? Hes currently on pace for 162. Dont think hell reach that.

But if this monster of a man continues to mash like this, baseballs will be pelted, A.L. pitchers will frequently be punished, and for a White Sox team hoping to contend, anything is possible.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox sluggers Frank Thomas and Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: Cubs look to bounce back vs. Giants tonight on CSN

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Should Blackhawks' next assistant coach be Joel Quenneville's choice?

How Bears are using veteran videos to school rookies on NFL way

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?

MMQB's Peter King's thoughts on Trubisky, Howard, White and the Bears offense

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

PHOENIX -- The red-hot White Sox ran into Zack Greinke on Monday night.

He cooled them off in a hurry.

Greinke struck out 12 hitters and Daniel Descalso blasted a three-run home run off Miguel Gonzalez as the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the White Sox to a 5-1 loss in front of 18,333 at Chase Field. The loss snapped a three-game win streak for the White Sox, who had scored 24 runs in their final two games against the Seattle Mariners.

“(Greinke) keeps the ball down out of the zone a lot,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s kind of enticing. He keeps the ball in the hitter’s area and it ends up falling out. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to try to get him up. Our approach was to try to make him throw a lot of strikes. He ended up hammering the strike zone early and then finally he just came into a groove.”

Descalso’s three-run shot off Gonzalez was one of two pitches the White Sox right-hander would have liked back. After Gonzalez walked Chris Owings with two outs in the fourth inning, his only free pass of the night, he left the curveball over the middle and Descalso deposited it in the right-center field stands to break a scoreless tie.

He also left a pitch up to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning and the All-Star first baseman ripped it for a solo shot.

But overall Gonzalez rebounded from his previous two starts when he walked nine batters. He was sharp for three innings as he faced one over the minimum. He just missed to Owings in the fourth, which brought up Descalso.

Gonzalez allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits in five innings.

“You see what happens when you walk guys,” Gonzalez said. “That wasn’t in a good situation to walk the guy. You have to keep grinding, keep making my pitches. Really two pitches were the ones that hurt me tonight. A lot of positives. Nothing to worry about. Keep working hard and things are going to go my way.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. Those two pitches, if I take those back, you never know. It’s a different ballgame.”

Not only did Greinke strike out a dozen hitters, he limited the White Sox to four hits in 8 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez had two hits, the first coming after Greinke opened the game by retiring seven straight batters. Leury Garcia homered off Greinke with one out in the fifth inning to break up his bid for a shutout.

It was quite the turnaround from when the White Sox bashed Yovani Gallardo and Chris Heston on consecutive days in Seattle. The White Sox scored a combined nine first-inning runs in winning three of four against the Mariners.