Adams, Big Innings Power Dogs Past Goldeyes
By Jack Ankony, Chicago Dogs
After three years at the Single-A level, Johnny Adams wasn’t on anyone’s roster in 2020.
He took a year off to regroup and focus on the mental side of the game. But positioned as a mainstay on the left side of the infield for the Chicago Dogs in 2021, Adams is experiencing one of his best seasons of professional baseball at the plate.
“I learned how to relax a little bit more at the dish and it has paid off,” Adams said.
This relaxed approached has Adams off to a scorching hot start at the plate, as he is tied for the league-lead with six home runs. And his latest, a left-centerfield laser off a chest-high fastball, jumpstarted yet another Dogs rally on Monday after being in a 7-0 hole through three and a half innings.
The Dogs moved to 8-5 on Monday afternoon by way of a 12-9 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes, which marked their sixth comeback win of the season. While Adams has been a key cog in the Dogs lineup, he said after the game that the Dogs’ ability to come back and wins games is thanks to a full team effort.
“We’ve got a resilient group I’d say from top to bottom,” Adams said. “Our starters, our bullpen, all nine guys that are on the field and even guys that are on the bench are always ready to go and contribute.”
For Adams, his hot start to the year hasn’t come from a deep analyzation of his swing or breaking down each at bat pitch-by-pitch. Before each game, he works on the basics with Dogs hitting coach Joe Dominiak.
“I try to go up there with a clear approach, clear mindset and really just hunt the fastball,” Adams said. “Really just dumbing it down and trying to simplify things.”
The Dogs scored a season-high 12 runs on Memorial Day to win four out of their last five games. Adams and Cosimo Cannella started the run-scoring parade in the fourth inning with a pair of home runs, followed by a Grant Kay RBI-single to center.
Kay’s three-run home run in the sixth inning gave the Dogs a 9-8 lead, and Harrison Smith’s three-run shot in the in the seventh was the game winner. Each Dog in Monday’s lineup recorded a hit, while Kay, Brennan Metzger, Ryan Lidge and Anfernee Grier each finished with multi-hit games.
On Sunday, Dogs manager Butch Hobson called his team “a bunch of grinders,” which mirrored the gameplan Adams and his teammates discussed before Monday’s game. Whether they are behind 7-0 in the fourth inning or out to an early lead, Adams and the Dogs are going to make the opposing pitcher work.
“Just trying to be a tough out in the box,” Adams said. “Getting good pitches to hit, hit the ball hard and good things are going to happen and find some green.”