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Adam Dunn breaks out

In his first 52 at-bats this season, Adam Dunn hit one home run. In the next two at-bats he took, Dunn hit two. Against knuckleballing Dodgers rookie Charlie Haeger, Dunn may have broke out of his slump. Maybe.

"I wouldn't say I'm out of a slump," Dunn said. "This is just the first game. I felt good. Again, I've been feeling good all along. Hopefully I can start getting going."

As Dunn spoke, he wore the silver Elvis wig given to the Nationals player of the game. "This is what I've been waiting for, to wear this wig," Dunn said. "I'm mad it took this long to finally get it."

Dunn could afford to play around for a night. In just one game, Dunn's slugging percentage rose 132 points, from .294 to .426. His OPS for the season now sits at .812. The numbers, and how rapidly they changed from bleak from respectable, shows how silly it may have to been to worry much about Dunn in the first place.

"I'm frustrated after every game things don't go well," Dunn said. "But nothing out of the ordinary. I knew I was going to come out if. Hopefully, tonight is the start of something."

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 23, 2010; 11:48 PM ET
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It sure is nice to be wrong. I thought Dunn would struggle with Haeger's breaking stuff, and instead he ate it up. Hopefully he carries it forward.

What a great first start for Atilano too. Good night all around.

Posted by: autobits | April 24, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey Adam! You asked the question. Dunn answered it! Great that Dunn gets 2 HRs after a Golden Sombrero vs Ubaldo!

Posted by: nattydread1 | April 24, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

2 more homers and Dunn gets to 100 all time for home runs

Posted by: Enrico1 | April 24, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry folks. I don't think Dunn broke out. He was just facing a pitcher he could finally catch up with. Now, if all the others will throw in the low 80s, he should do ok. Great game though, except for the lousy field play. Three errors?? Well, might as well get them in bunches when you win a game. But, we are looking much better than last year. I loved Atilino (is that the name? Well, you know who I mean). Stammen is pitching today so we have a chance. Too bad Lannan didn't have a floating elbow too. I'm looking forward to being rid of some of our other duds.

Posted by: Pete433 | April 24, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

I went to the game on Thursday and came away convinced, after witnessing (I believe, as I recall) Dunn strike out three times and make his fourth out on a weak ball to shallow left (that was too lightly hit to be called a liner and too low in altitude to be called a fly), Riggleman's really got to sit him for a day and hope he can get his head right with a break in the pressure to produce at the plate.

Then after the game I heard skipper on the radio say in effect, I've seen this happen with sluggers on occasion in the past and you never know, if you resist sitting them for a game and keep them in there, the next game they might break out with two or three homers, that's just the way it is with sluggers sometimes.

Guess we got a pretty sharp prognosticator for a manager.

Posted by: evanescent_panoply | April 24, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Willie wasn't the only player with a brain fart last night the Braves screwed up the infield fly rule and made four errors(see espn), what's the weather like in DC? raining like hell here in the A-T-L,anyway looks like we aren't getting a legit RF'er i saw Andruw Jones last night hit a walkoff(his 2nd of the game) he's lost weight i wonder why no interest(too expensive?)btw his wife? "SUPER HOTT"

Posted by: dargregmag | April 24, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Getting a W excuses all mistakes... including 3 errors... not scoring when you have the bases loaded with no outs in the 8th inning because Willie Harris swings at an 3-0 pitch off of a guy who has just walked 3 guys in a row... and then decides to take a stroll around the ball park before there are 3 outs...

We are not used to getting Ws making those kinds of mistakes, so that feels good to be able to pull it off... just don't continue to push your luck...

Dunn was bound to break out, he has been one of the most consistent home run hitters for years and he is still at a prime age for a ball player... and he actually looks pretty decent taking throws from the infielders... but, still, please don't hit the ball to him with the game on the line!

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 24, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Holy crap I just realized we only have 1 less win than the Phillies. 500 baseball is awesome and I'd take it anyday but it's time to start stringing together some wins.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 24, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

What a magnificent evening at the ballpark. Seven guys from my office decided to go over on a whim. We got RF tickets (about $24, I think) and got there early enough to enjoy the Miller Lite beer garden. The Nationals have a live rock band, stand up tables, sofas (no kidding). The whole atmosphere is about a great time. Huge party event! This is the first time I've experienced this including the first season in 2005. Our group decided that we'd do this more often, that's how fun it was. Plus, we won. Three of us were not baseball fans at all. Affordable good time. Truth is, we've been trying to do this with the Caps. We went once. Good time there as well, but we damned near went broke. Affordable good time for middle aged men.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 24, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse


Puerto Rico is not a country:

"Atilano, a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, began the night pitching to Ivan Rodriguez, one of his country's legends."

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 24, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

That depends on who you are talking with
Puerto Rico is not a country:

Posted by: lowcountry | April 24, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

""Atilano, a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, began the night pitching to Ivan Rodriguez, one of his country's legends."

Atilano's country is the United States of America. So is Pudge's. Pudge is a legend across the US. Therefore there's really no problem with Kilgore's statement here, is there?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Re: Puerto Rico.

There is a great story of a Red Sox manager, I can't remember which one, in the 1970's, complaining about the demands that were being made of him by the emerging crop of Spanish-speaking ballplayers from Puerto Rico.

"Next thing you know," he complained, "they'll want us to start playing their national anthem."

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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