Domonic Brown Heat Check: Cooling Off

Domonic Brown Heat Check: Cooling Off
June 17, 2013, 1:01 pm
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Is it any coincidence that quite possibly the biggest Phillies letdown this season yet coincides with the sudden disappearance of Dom Bombs? Don’t look now, but it’s been over a week since Domonic Brown last hit a home run, a stretch that just happened to fall right in the thick of the club’s 3-7 road trip.

No home runs at Coors Field? Really? Really. In fact, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez passed Brown for the National League lead in home runs on Sunday with his 20th.

Power isn’t the only difference in Brown at the plate, either. He’s in a bit of a slump, period. Over the last seven games the reigning NL Player of the Month is 3-for-25 with no extra-base hits, one lonely run, one lonely RBI.

You knew he was going to come back down to earth eventually. Unfortunately the Phillies are prone to gravity, too. Their record is 2-5 during Brown’s mini-slump.

This is not the first time this season the Fightins have suffered along with their everyday leftfielder, either. Prior to this, Brown’s worst stretch this season was April 14-23, a period where he went 2-for-24 at the dish while dealing with a sore back. The Phils were 3-6 during that span.

What should we make of Dom’s vanishing act? Well, not too much so far. There was no way that homer-a-day binge was going to last, especially as word made it around baseball about what he was doing.

And Brown is still doing some good things up there as well. After going the month of May without drawing a single walk, he’s got six already in June, half of those during this ongoing cold spell. Either he’s getting more selective by choice, or the increase in free passes demonstrates a change in how pitchers are approaching him. A couple of the freebies were intentional, so it seems opposing teams finally caught on.

Again, not an altogether unexpected development – although it is a situation to monitor. Pitchers are adjusting, and with so many far easier outs to choose from in the Phillies’ lineup in these days, Brown simply isn’t going to see as many meatballs. How he responds will be the true test of how good a hitter he can be.

In the meantime, Brown’s slump has made the Fightins a whole lot less enjoyable to watch. Dom Brown’s own little personal home run derby over the previous few weeks was not only breathtaking to behold, it was helping the club rack up wins. If he’s not producing, then who is?

I think we figured out the answer to that question sometime in the last eight days.

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