It took a walk-off single off closer Aroldis Chapman by the Chicago White Sox to win on Sunday afternoon, but more than those late-inning heroics by the “Good Guys” deserve some praise in the victory.
White Sox pitcher John Danks finally showed what he’s capable of doing if he’s on his game, and that was the case in the series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.
Danks did his job in the no-decision, pitching seven innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and three walks. He didn’t give up a home run and he struck out four.
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All-in-all it was a heck of a game pitched by the left-handed Danks, with his ERA falling to 5.12 on the season following his outing. Entering this game Danks’ ERA was 6.20.
Against Cincinnati, Danks faced three-to-four batters per inning in five of the seven innings he pitched, and no more than five batters in the other two innings on the mound.
The second inning saw Danks face five batters, and though he walked Jay Bruce with one out, and gave up a two-out single to Bryan Pena, the lefty was able to get out of the inning with a pop up to second by Zack Cozart.
Apr 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) pitches the ball during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Danks had a 1-2-3 third, but the fourth inning saw the second of two five-batter innings, and this was the inning the Reds scored the lone run Danks allowed. The run was scored off a triple by Devin Mesoraco that allowed Brandon Phillips to cross home plate.
After the bump that was the fourth inning, Danks struck out Billy Hamilton following a lead-off- single by Cozart. Eventually the White Sox defense, and a ground out by Votto, got Danks out of a tough situation in the fifth.
Danks finished his outing with a 1-2-3 sixth, and a four at-bat seventh with all three outs combing via fly balls, one to each outfielder.
After watching just how Danks pitched, as those of us who watch the White Sox on a consistent basis, can we ask for anymore than that from Danks? Sure, I would like to see Danks be the pitcher he used to be before his shoulder surgery, but he’s not that pitcher anymore.
If Danks can just have outings like (or near) this one with consistency, he would be a great asset to the White Sox rotation.
He most likely won’t be leaving the rotation anytime soon, but for one day at least, Danks showed many just how solid of a pitcher he can be, and for that Danks deserves some props for the work he did on the mound at U.S. Cellular Field.