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Joe Sheehan Blames Adam Dunn - And He Has a Point

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Adam Dunn

Joe Sheehan on the second half collapse:

I'm on board with the idea that the Reds are out of the race in no small part because of the Wayne Krivsky notion that he needed middle relievers more than he needed 25% of his starting lineup. The Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns trade damaged the Reds' offense and didn't come close to addressing their pitching issues. There's no way to evaluate their season without placing that deal front and center.

However...

Do you think things might have been different if Adam Dunn shown up for the second half? With another 0-fer last night, Dunn dropped to .153/.344/.264 in September, .230/.367/.426 since the All-Star break. He has killed the Reds for two months, batting .170 in the middle of the lineup with just 13 extra-base hits. That's not a slump; that's a disaster, and it's gone unnoticed in part because guys like me are so used to defending Dunn that we didn't look at him when doing the Reds' autopsy. Unlike in past seasons, when Dunn was criticized for his approach while still being productive, this time the big guy is a big reason why the Reds have failed. Stathead favorite or no, Dunn deserves a load of criticism for his part in this season.

It's tough not to think he's right. Adam Dunn has become something of a sacred cow to, for want of a better descriptive term, "smart" Reds fans. He takes so much unwarranted abuse from fans who don't try to understand the intricacies of the game that it's hard to admit when he really isn't playing well.

I have no idea what's happened to Dunn this second half. It could just be an aberration, and if it's not it might be fixable. And I certainly don't think the Reds second half is all Dunn's fault, there's plenty of blame to be passed around. But it's inarguable that Dunn has absolutely killed the Reds these past 2+ months.