There’s no question the Los Angeles Dodgers could use a bat like
Adam Dunn’s in the middle of their lineup. Right now, they’d settle
for not having to pitch to the Washington Nationals slugger.
The NL home run leader hit two more as the Nationals took the
opener of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium, and he’ll look to
continue his success against Hiroki Kuroda on Saturday night as
Washington tries to further spoil Los Angeles’ critical
The Nationals (49-61) didn’t deal Dunn prior to the July 31
trading deadline but placed him on waivers this week – a common
practice after Aug. 1 – leaving open the possibility of negotiating
a deal with the team that wins that claim.
Someone put in a claim, but that team is still not known. The
Dodgers (56-54) could certainly use him, considering they’ve
averaged 2.5 runs in 22 games since the All-Star break. Dunn hit a
pair of three-run homers in Friday’s 6-3 win, giving him six in six
“That’s how home runs come for me – in bunches,” said Dunn, who
has 30 homers. “I mean, I’ll go three weeks and not hit one, and
then I’ll go a week where I hit five or six of them. That’s the
story of my life.”
While Dunn tied a career high with six RBIs, Los Angeles – 2-3
on its seven-game homestand – has scored six runs once since the
Dunn is 6 for 14 with four homers and four walks against the
Dodgers this season.
“He’s got as much power as anyone in the game, so he can hit
pitches that aren’t necessarily hitter’s pitches and still drive
them out,” Dodgers catcher Brad Ausmus said. “You’d certainly like
to have him in the lineup. Either way, I wish somebody had claimed
him and he wasn’t playing for the Nationals tonight.”
Dunn hasn’t faced Kuroda (8-10, 3.70 ERA) in 2010, but he’s had
lots of success in eight plate appearances against the
right-hander, going 3 for 4 with a homer, two doubles and four
Kuroda is 1-5 with a 4.96 ERA in his last six starts, and his
most recent outing was particularly ineffective. He gave up five
runs and seven hits while lasting four innings in a 10-5 loss to NL
West-leading San Diego on Monday.
Kuroda has faced the Nationals once, allowing two unearned runs
and four hits over six innings in a 14-2 road win Sept. 22.
Livan Hernandez (8-7, 3.12) opposed Kuroda in that game, one of
his 31 starts against the Dodgers.
His past two have been ugly. Hernandez gave up eight runs and 11
hits over four innings in an 11-2 loss July 9, 2009, while pitching
for the Mets, then surrendered eight more over 3 2-3 innings
against Kuroda, a month after New York had released him.
Hernandez’s ERA is nearly 2 1/2 runs lower this season, though,
and his last two road starts have been particularly impressive. The
right-hander went the distance in a 7-1 win at Cincinnati on July
22, then made it through 7 1-3 innings, allowing a run and five
hits, in a 3-1 victory at Arizona on Monday.
Hernandez won’t have to face the Dodger that’s had the most
sustained success against him. Rafael Furcal, a .387 (29 for 75)
hitter with four homers against Hernandez, won’t return until
Tuesday at the earliest as he rests his sore lower back.