Almost Dunn

After a six game road trip the Arizona Diamondbacks return to Chase Field to play host to their National League West opponent the San Diego Padres. This game will mark the home debut of Adam Dunn. The deal bringing Dunn to Arizona was announced shortly after the Diamondbacks left for Colorado meaning that fans have not gotten an opportunity to see the big man in Sedona Red. I’ve been lukewarm about this trade since it went down. I completely understand Josh Byrnes thinking, I am just not sure I understand how this is going to play out. With the size of the outfields in the ballparks in the NL West, putting someone like Adam Dunn out there will definitely reduce your teams defense. We’ve gotten used to seeing the likes of Chris Young, Eric Byrnes, Justin Upton, and Alex Romero patrol the vast spaces in the outfield. All of this was of course hearsay until we had an opportunity to see for ourselves what Adam Dunn has to offer.


For a veteran player, Dunn looked a little nervous as he took the field for the first time. My first impression was that he was a lot larger than I had expected both in height and weight. It didn’t take long watching him move around right field to recognize that the Diamondbacks are definitely giving away some defensive ground playing Dunn in right field. I will admit that from a team perspective I am a lot more comfortable with that scenario than I am with Dunn at first moving Chad Tracy to third and Mark Reynolds to second. This has been discussed although I am not sure how realistic that is. By making those changes you reduce your defensive effectiveness in 3 positions instead of just one.

From an offensive perspective Adam Dunn is as advertised. To paraphrase the now famous rant of then Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green, “He’s everything we thought he would be”. In his first game at Chase Field Dunn went 1-3 at the plate with 2 walks and a strike out. That one hit though was a home run that helped propel the Diamondbacks to the win. Having your clean-up hitter on base 3 times is something that has not happened that regularly this season for the Diamondbacks so this was especially pleasant.

The Diamondbacks are going to need the bats to stay hot if they play many games like tonight. After getting 4 runs in the first inning Doug Davis proceeded to begin giving the runs right back. It seemed as though the Arizona hitters knew that was coming and each time the Padres scored the Diamondbacks would answer the rally in the home half of the inning. By the time the ninth inning arrived the Diamondbacks had built a 7-3 lead turning the game over to closer Brandon Lyon.

I was somewhat surprised to see that Melvin did not make defensive replacements in the top of the ninth. I expected to see Tony Clark take over at first base and Alex Romero playing right field to give the Diamondbacks their best chance for closing out the game. Instead Bo-Mel stayed with his starting position players. Brandon Lyon again struggled giving up 3 runs in 1/3 of an inning of work. The Padres hitters were knocking Lyon around pretty well. Balls were hit to first base and right field that we have become accustomed to seeing be fielded. Instead the ball went through allowing San Diego to chip away at the lead.

The game ended with Bob Melvin relieving Brandon Lyon and bringing in Tony Pena. Pena shut the door on the Padres but not before they had the tying run on third base. It was definitely not a game for the faint of heart. The Diamondbacks were nearly done in by their reliever but were instead Dunn in with the bat.


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