Here’s the fun thing about shutouts–HINT: It’s not watching them–it’s looking to see what the White Sox website goes with for the “highlights” of the night.
On the occasion of the White Sox getting shutout 3-0 by Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers for their ninth-straight loss, the good old folks at MLB Advanced Media went with “Danks’ solid outing” for top billing.
This is sort of funny, since Danks allowed three home runs in seven innings. Sure, he only yielded those three runs in seven innings, which is a quality start, as they say. But Danks has now allowed an insane 20 home runs in 89.2 innings, or one every four and a half innings.
Danks somehow lowered his ERA to 4.52 on the night (which is still bad), but even his most staunch supporter (Hello.) didn’t look at this start and think “THINGS SURE ARE GREAT IN DANKSYLVANIA.”
Danks looks bad. Real bad. He looked bad tonight. Hopefully things will be different next year. Southside Showdown should do capsules of every player at the end of the season and include that last sentence in every one.
Also, the “Danks’ solid outing” clip begins with a very clear shot of Conor Gillaspie adjusting his groin. Gillaspie went 1-4 and flied out to end the game with a runner in scoring position. I give his adjustment “mixed results.”
The other top clips are “Viciedo’s great catch” and “Gillaspie’s play.” Neither are these are titled very impressively. “Gillaspie’s play” doesn’t even make a definitive statement on whether or not something positive occurred. “Conor did…something…I’m not going to tell you what to make of it,” it seems to say, of what’s actually a showstopping dive-and-throw from the hot corner.
And we know the score on Viciedo, though. If he made a great catch, there must have been some sort of goofiness (or slowness) on his route to the ball that required some sort of amusing heroics. Sure enough, when Victor Martinez lifted what looked like it could be the fourth home run of the night off Danks in the sixth inning, Viciedo turned out in the wrong direction, spun around, then made an odd leap-and-catch at the warning track while Mark Salas mocked him from the bullpen. Viciedo chuckled in return, and why not? Who cares?
Maybe defensive plays is not the thing to focus on during another miserable offensive night where the Sox managed seven baserunners, but I appreciate them even more now. If the White Sox cannot score, or ever hope to win a game, or mount a challenge to a playoff-bound team, it’s nice that (or when) they can pitch well enough and catch the ball frequently enough for everyone in attendance to conclude that they saw a major league team lose in person.
That’s the kind of customer satisfaction that keeps the sport going.
Team Record: 40-68
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan