Results tagged ‘ John Danks ’

First-Place South Siders Continue to Roll

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All eyes were on the White Sox last night. Could they come out of the break with same fire that saw them go 25-5 in the last 30 games? How would they do against the rival Twins as they aimed for their ninth victory in a row–this coming on the heels of the 11-game winning streak?
Aside from a six-run Twins uprising in the second off of John Danks, which saw Minny take the lead after the Sox scored four in the first two frames, it was all good as the Sox held on in the 8-7 squeaker to increase their division lead to a full game over the Tigers.
There was no lack of positive signs. The gutty Danks bounced back to go six innings after giving up six runs in the second, Juan Pierre went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored, four players (Omar Vizquel, Alex Rios, Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham) pounded out a pair of hits each with Beckham and Rios both going 2 for 3 with two RBIs apiece. And GBeck added a long second-inning homer.
Additionally, the pen did what they had to do with three clutch two-out strikeouts to end Twins rallies–Matt Thornton (Jason Kubel) in the seventh, Bobby Jenks (Orlando Hudson) and Jenks (Jim Thome) to end the game in the ninth.
With  a lot of heroes to choose from, the best part of last night for me was the continuing emergence of Beckham as the same guy we saw in 2009. His bat is perking up, his power is back, he’s been sparkling in the field and his average is up to .221 and climbing. That average might not seem like much, but it’s a big improvement from where it’s been in the early going.
Many folks agree that Beckham is the key to the Sox offense. I’m one of them. His presence in the lineup was enormous last year and adding a vintage GBeck to Rios, Paul KonerkoCarlos Quentin and the rest can only mean good things for The Good Guys.
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Some Musings as First-Place White Sox Begin Second Half of Season Against the Twins

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With the All-Star Game break, the blog has been dark for the past three days. But the Sox are back in action today–and so am I.
Here are a few thoughts as the Sox attempt to continue the surge that moved them into the A.L. Central lead after Sunday’s win against the Royals.
–The Sox have reported that Jake Peavy‘s surgery yesterday could not have gone better. Jake, see you in Glendale.
–The South Siders’ No. 1 draft pick, Chris Sale (pictured below), has been promoted from Class A Winston-Salem to AAA Charlotte after only four one-inning stints. Seems like he’s doing his Daniel Hudson imitation, only quicker. He could be in Chicago before too long.
–Those Adam Dunn to the White Sox rumors continue. Reports are that the Nationals are holding out for Gordon Beckham. If that’s the case, it won’t happen. Beckham’s 2010 struggles aside, Gordo is a keeper and the Sox know it.
–I haven’t seen it reported anywhere, but if the acquisition of Dunn doesn’t materialize–and I think Prince Fielder is out of the question–how about adding Raul Ibanez as a lefty bat in the Sox lineup? I’ve always liked him (actually hated him) because of his great success against the Sox over the years. Word is that the Phils wouldn’t mind parting with Raul.
–The Sox are hoping to start a new tradition tonight at Target Field. A tradition of dominating the Twins on their home field. The pitching matchups for the weekend:
TONIGHT: John Danks vs. Kevin Slowey
TOMORROW NIGHT: Gavin Floyd vs. Francisco Liriano
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mark Buehrle vs. Carl Pavano
SUNDAY: Freddy Garcia vs. Nick Blackburn

–After the four games in Minnesota, the Sox play three in Seattle, enjoy an off day and then travel to Oakland for three before returning home on July 26 vs. the Mariners.
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If This is a Dream, Don’t Wake Me Up

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After watching the White Sox play during the season’s first two months, this recent surge–which has seen the South Siders win 22 of their last 27 games–is an amazing phenomenon.
The latest development? John Danks‘ magnificent complete game, two-hit shutout against the Angels this afternoon. It gave the Sox the four-game sweep and a five-game winning streak. Think pitching is the name of the game? Here are the opponents’ run totals in the last two series against Texas and Los Angeles: 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 0, totaling 14. The Pale Hose countered with plenty to spare, scoring 30 during that span. As Hawk would say, that’ll work.
The Royals are next up as the Sox look to continue their dazzling play into the All-Star break. Now a half-game behind the idle Tigers, we have a real shot at being on top of the A.L. Central at the traditional half-way point of the season. Believe it.
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White Sox Starters Need to Rise to the Occasion Against Fearsome Rangers Attack

Michael Young (.316 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI), Ian Kinsler (.294), Josh Hamilton (18, 58, .343), Vlad Guerrero ( 18, 68, .339), Nelson Cruz (10, 39, .319) and Elvis Andrus (.296, 22 SB) comprise the dynamic offensive core of the first-place Texas Rangers, who now hold a 4 1/2 game lead in the A.L. West.

They also represent the huge challenge the White Sox have this weekend as they look to stay close in the A.L. Central after losing two of three to Kansas City on the heels of demolishing their National League opponents.
Sure, the Sox will have to score some runs to match the Rangers prolific attack, but in the end the burden will rest with the Sox starters, who need to minimize the damage for the South Siders to compete.
We will be counting on Freddy Garcia, John Danks and Mark Buehrle to get the job done. The last thing we need is to lose ground after we’ve gotten within 2 1/2 games of the division lead.
The weekend series in Arlington, which begins tomorrow night after today’s off day, is not do or die for the Sox, but it will say a lot about what we can realistically expect going forward.
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            Freddy, Danks and Mr. Perfect will attempt to quell the Ranger offense



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Sox Win 7th Straight and Hurdle .500 Mark–I Could Get Used to This

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When the Braves took an early 3-0 tonight against the White Sox at the Cell, I flashed back to April and May and had that sinking feeling that we were doomed.
But this is a different Sox team. One that can rebound from an early deficit because of renewed starting pitching, clutch hitting and defense that has improved their record to 35-34. You don’t have to look further than tonight’s result against the red-hot Braves to see that. Down 3-0 after one and a half innings, the South Siders scored five runs in the bottom of the second, added one in the third and three in the fourth en route to the 9-6 victory. And after his early woes, John Danks settled down and blanked Atlanta for the next five innings before being relieved by Tony Pena in the eighth.
Here we are one game above .500, 4 1/2 games behind the division-leading Twins and only three in back of the Tigers.
Many heroes surfaced last night. Danks, A.J. Pierzynski (three hits, two RBI), Alexei Ramirez (three hits and an RBI), Paul Konerko (three hits to raise his BA to .304), Alex Rios (two hits and an RBI) and Carlos Quentin, who slammed a three-run homer for the team’s first roundtripper in eight games. We had 16 hits in all. The only negatives happened in the ninth with Scott Linebrink giving up two runs before being relieved by Bobby Jenks (who got the save) and Ramirez leaving the game with a finger injury. Too early to tell how serious the injury is.
No, I didn’t forget Omar Vizquel, who has been outstanding as the main replacement for the disabled Mark Teahen (remember him?). Omar delivered a clutch two-out, two RBI single in the Sox five-run second, which prolonged the rally (pictured above).
How important has Vizquel been to the Sox recent resurgence? The Sox are 13-6 when the future Hall of Fame starts at third base.
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Homerless Hose Pound Pirates Behind Danks

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How many times have we heard this comment the past few years? The White Sox can’t win unless they hit homers. It’s even been a popular refrain this season when it was supposed to be a transition from power to speed and versatility.

Well, with tonight’s 7-2 victory over the Pirates behind a John Danks‘ gem, an 11-hit attack and six Pittsburgh errors, the Sox have now won seven of nine games and two in a row in Pittsburgh. But the most interesting fact is that they’ve won three of the last four (and should have won the Sunday night game at Wrigley) without a single home run. At least for now, it’s back to Ozzie’s smart ball and hopefully a formula for winning baseball games.
The South Siders go for the sweep tomorrow night and then it’s on to D.C. Friday as they try to hand Stephen Strasburg his first loss.
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Sox Win Second in a Row, Those North Side Media Darlings Are Up Next

Wrigley_sign_Congratulations_White_Sox717.jpgJohn Danks (seven scoreless innings), Omar Vizquel (a home run and two RBI), A.J. Pierzynski (a homer) and Sergio Santos‘ clutch K of Miguel Cabrera led the way today as the White Sox shut out the Tigers, 3-0, to win the three-game series against Detroit after dropping the opener.

The Sox have won three straight games only once this season so another victory tomorrow will encouraging. And, of course, it takes on even more importance because it will be the first of three at Wrigley against their “we haven’t won a World Series in 102 years” crosstown rivals.
Both clubs have been disappointing this year so the two regular season series aren’t as attractive as in years past–but it’s still Sox vs. Cubs. And if both teams continue to struggle, how they fare against each other will be a high point in their respective seasons.
But always keep this in mind: No matter how bad the Sox play, the Cubs are always worse. The 102-year famine proves it.
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Freddy to Twins: Gar-cia Later

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I want to get excited. I want to celebrate the win in our first game at Target Field. I want to think the Sox are finally playing up to expectations. But I’m going to contain myself and wait to see what happens in this afternoon’s matinee.

Last night’s 5-2 victory over the Twins was sweet. Big Game Freddy Garcia rose to the occasion as he usually does and the Sox actually had a two-out rally in the five-run fifth highlighted by Alexei Ramirez (above) and A.J. Pierzynski two-RBI doubles. And, alas, Bobby Jenks survived the ninth for his sixth save.
All eyes will be on John Danks, so far the staff ace, as he faces Carl Pavano this afternoon in an attempt to give the Sox a much-needed sweep of the short two-game series.
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Was It Really The Metrodome? We’re Gonna Find Out

I said I wasn’t going to return until I could revisit the White Sox fortunes the morning after without feeling ill. Ill was certainly the case after Sunday’s Bobby Jenks‘ meltdown and nothing’s changed. But as a Sox fan, how can I sit out the two-game series with the Twins on our first trip to Target Field?

We’ll be relying on Freddy Garcia and John Danks to stop the freefall. It’s early, but if we get swept we’ll be 10 games out, if we split it will remain at eight. Still not good.
Let’s hope for the best and, remember, we won’t have the Metrodome to blame.
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Dana Eveland (Who?) Does His Sandy Koufax Imitation

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Dana Eveland, who is with his fourth organization since 2005, might as well be Sandy Koufax when he faces the White Sox. He’s now 3-1 in six starts this season with two of the victories against the South Siders.
He beat them on April 15 in Toronto, allowing only two runs and three hits in six innings. Last night, in the 2-0 Blue Jay win, he hurled seven innings of shutout ball, surrendering a mere two hits. It’s either that Eveland has turned the corner since failing to stick with the Brewers, Diamondbacks and A’s or he’s simply taken advantage of our season-long offensive doldrums.
It’s reached the point in the Sox season where nobody really knows if this is a .500 team or a contender. John Danks has been the only consistent starter and aside from Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Andruw Jones, the offense, in the words of a fellow Sox fan, has been revolting. And the bullpen has suffered from the starters’ inconsistency.
We have no other choice but to wait it out and hope that a winning streak is right around the corner.
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