- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Mired in a horrendous slump of his own, Adam Dunn did not hold back when asked about his team’s poor record.
“We can’t play any worse than we are now,” Dunn said before the Chicago White Sox's Monday matchup against the Cleveland Indians. “Obviously we are getting good pitching. Other than that -- terrible.”
Dunn’s difficult early-season slump has contributed to the White Sox’s inept offense to date. The Texas native is batting 2-for-41 (.049) in his last 11 games, but what is even more alarming is his lack of plate discipline. Dunn led the American League in both strikeouts and walks in 2012. Through the first 18 games of the season he has only three walks and 26 strikeouts.
“The last couple of days I have been swinging at pitches I normally wouldn’t,” Dunn said. “I have been fouling balls off as well, that’s what kind of gets me. I feel all right, but I have been working on a couple mechanical things. For the most part this year I feel I have been pitched pretty tough. I have to be better then -- not chasing those pitches if they aren’t something I can drive.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura did not necessarily agree with Dunn ‘s evaluation of the team’s offense.
“When you lose, you just lose,” Ventura said. “I have seen worse in the past. I don’t think (about) if that is as bad as we can play, anything can always be worse.”
Ventura knows good from bad. He started his major league career in a 4-for-46 slump in 1988.
“I would rather us focus on what we are doing and just continue to play hard,” he said. “ Losing isn’t easy to deal with so I get what (Dunn) is trying to say, but I have also seen worse. Anytime time you say it can’t get worse… it can get worse.”
The White Sox are four games under .500 for the first time since they were 17-21 last May 16. After that downturn, Chicago won their next 12 out of 13, ending May with a 1.5 game lead in the Central Division.
The Sox offense ranks last in the league in on-base percentage (.271) and walks (31). Those are two categories that usually go hand-in-hand when teams struggle at the plate.