Streaking/Slumping: Sale dominating
June, 5, 2012
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com
US PresswireChris Sale has been sharp in his last three starts, and Adam Dunn has cooled.
1. Chris Sale, P: Not only is he the hottest pitcher but he might be the most dominant in the league right now. Sale has won his past three starts with an ERA of 1.65. The side-winding left-hander has become more difficult to hit, giving up just two runs in his last two starts while striking out 23 batters. Sale has been difficult to scout for opposing teams considering he may use a fastball or his unhittable slider as his dominant pitch from game to game. In his last victory over the Mariners on Sunday, he used his slider 48 percent of the time. In previous outings he used mostly fastballs and change-ups to set hitters up.
2. Gordon Beckham, 2B: He makes his second appearance in the Streaking category. Beckham has had several clutch hits over the past week while hitters such as Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn have slumped. Beckham has three home runs in his past three games and is 13-for-33 in the past seven games. Beckham’ s confidence is sky high, and his new approach has him pulling the ball with authority for the first time since his rookie season.
1. Paul Konerko, 1B: It’s hard to believe that baseball’s hottest hitter could go so cold seemingly overnight. The Sox captain is in his worst funk of the season with just two hits in his last 20 at-bats. Konerko carried the Sox for almost two months along with A.J. Pierzynski and Adam Dunn before other players caught up recently. Still, a .365 batting average is nothing to feel bad about.
2. Adam Dunn, DH: Much the same as Konerko, Dunn is missing the ball more than he has hit it the last week. Dunn’s only two hits in his past 22 at-bats have been monster home runs. The difference this season is that he continues to have confidence in every at-bat and is not out-thinking himself as he did in 2011. Dunn appears to be a model of consistency regardless of how he is performing on the field.