Average plummets, but Dunn plays on
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER
PITTSBURGH - For better or worse, Adam Dunn has had to stay in the lineup. It's been mostly worse.
"When (Ryan) Freel went out, he was going to play," Reds manager Jerry Narron said of Dunn.
Dunn carried his horrendous slump into Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He was batting .145 with two home runs and five RBI in September before getting two hits Friday.
Managers often use days off to help players out of skids. But the Reds don't have a lot of alternatives. Dunn doesn't know if rest would have helped.
"I feel great - physically," he said. "I probably am tired, but I don't feel it. I don't know the answer (to why I'm struggling)."
Dunn says he's tried adjusting his approach, his swing.
"That's probably why I stink," he said. "I feel like I've got to change everything. When I think too much, I get in trouble."
Dunn gives the impression he's a happy-go-lucky type.
He doesn't show much emotion, but this slump is eating him up.
"He's harder on himself than anyone," Ken Griffey Jr. said. "He cares. He's trying. He sits next to (hitting coach) Chris Chambliss the whole game. They're trying to figure it out."
Dunn's problems began in August.
He hit .353 with a .451 on-base percentage in July, then dropped to .185 and .284 in August.
The slide has continued in September, when the games have meant the most.
"I couldn't pick a worse time to suck," he said.
The good news for Dunn was the Reds have remained alive in the playoff race.
"I've got three more games to come out of it," he said before Friday's game.