- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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Dunn, who had missed two games with a strained oblique, whiffed swinging in the third inning, missing an offering from Twins starter Samuel Deduno.
Regardless of all the swings and misses, the Sox slugger may be the most unique three-hole hitter in the game.
“There is a lot of fear when he gets in (the batter’s box),” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Any pitch that is thrown to him he can hit out of the park. He is not a normal three-hole hitter and in fact even in the past he has hit leadoff because he is so unique. For us it is better when he is in there.”
Trying to define what type of hitter Dunn has confounded both the sabermetrics crowd as well as the old world home run and RBI proponents with his bizarre mixture of slugging, on base percentage and strikeouts. Dunn also tied Craig Biggio for 64th on the all-time walk list with 1,160.
Dunn is the major league leader in home runs (38). walks (95) and strikeouts (190) . His home run ratio (one for every 12.2 at-bats) is also a major league best.
“If you’re able to be in the lineup you are always a threat,” Dunn said. “If you are in there you can impact the game. Tonight I felt good enough to get back in there. I am just a little concerned about being sore tomorrow. It is September so you are not supposed to feel 100 percent.”
Dunn joins Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa and Andres Gallarraga on the infamous Top 5 all-time strikeout list. But Dunn has never concerned himself with the nature of a strikeout compared to any other type of out. Dunn was totally unaware of joining the others with that dubious swing-and-miss distinction.
“Oh, heck I have more than that left in me,” Dunn said. “Hey, I am going to play a lot longer, so that won’t be the last time I strike out.”