Dunn struck out against Chicago starter Mark Prior in the second and fourth innings, breaking the previous mark for whiffs of 189 set by Bobby Bonds in 1970. Dunn struck out swinging in his first at-bat and looking in his second. He got No. 191 by striking out a third time against Prior on a checked swing in the seventh.
"At least that is one Bonds I have a record over," Dunn said
after the Reds beat the Cubs 2-1 in 12 innings Thursday as he
scored the go-ahead run.
Dunn wasn't upset at all by setting the record, actually joking
with reporters at first.
"It's great. I'm the only person that actually has claim to
that record. Now I'm just going to try to add on to it before the
year is over," he said.
He did admit the record is a rather dubious one.
"Actually it does matter. But, you know, I'm not going to sit
and lose sleep over it," he said.
Dunn homered in each of the first three games against the Cubs and before Thursday's series finale had 45 homers and 101 RBIs with a .264 batting average.
In 2002, shortstop Jose Hernandez -- then with the Milwaukee
Brewers -- finished with 188 strikeouts; he was benched for eight of
the season's last 12 games so he wouldn't eclipse Bonds' record.
The year before, Hernandez whiffed 185 times and was benched in the
final days of the season.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Dunn has always been a big swinger since breaking in with the Reds late in the 2001 season, when he had 19 homers and 74 strikeouts in 66 games.
The following year, his first full major league season, he hit
26 home runs and had 170 strikeouts in 158 games. A year ago, he
missed the final six weeks with a thumb injury, finishing with 27
homers and 126 strikeouts in 116 games.
This season, Dunn became only the second player in Reds history to have 100 RBI, 100 walks and 100 runs in a season. The other was Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who did it in 1976, when he won the NL MVP award.
Dunn, 24, was a second-round pick of the Reds in 1998 and chose baseball over football. He was one of the nation's top prep
quarterbacks and accepted a football scholarship to Texas, but
announced in the spring of 1999 he would play baseball.