White Sox

John Danks, White Sox can't keep pace with David Price, Tigers

danks-sox-insider-0606.png

John Danks, White Sox can't keep pace with David Price, Tigers

You knew John Danks’ formula couldn’t be successful forever.

Following 13 straight innings in which he pitched out of every jam, Danks found a mess he couldn’t avoid on Saturday night.

Miguel Cabrera homered and the Detroit Tigers rallied for five runs in the fifth inning as the White Sox lost 7-1 in front of 28,368 at U.S. Cellular Field. Following a 10-hit shutout in Houston on Sunday, Danks allowed five earned runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings while David Price struck out 11 to help the Tigers snap an eight-game losing streak. The White Sox send Jeff Samardzija against Detroit’s Alfredo Simon in the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.

“I made a bad pitch to Miggy and he’s the best hitter in the game,” Danks said. “I felt good. I felt like (Geovany Soto) and I were both doing a good job of navigating the lineup. For whatever reason the ball got up. They were able to put the bat on the ball and find some holes. It’s just a lot of hits in one inning.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

When he bested the Astros at Minute Maid Field last Sunday, Danks became the first major league pitcher since Carlos Silva in 2004 to pitch a shutout with at least 10 hits allowed.

Danks (3-5) applied the same formula Saturday and it worked early on. The left-hander stranded two runners in the first, third and fourth innings as he pitched around four hits and two walks. Dating back to Sunday, Danks posted 13 scoreless innings in spite of 14 hits allowed and three walks.

He didn’t have as much luck in the fifth, however.

Cabrera blasted a 1-1 cut-fastball out to center with a man aboard, his first homer since May 24, to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.

“It kind of unraveled at that point,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I thought he was getting the ball up. He would get ahead and just couldn't put them away.”

James McCann followed singles by Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos with an RBI double and Josh Wilson and Jose Iglesias each had two-out RBI singles to chase Danks and make it a 5-1 game. Detroit finished the inning with seven hits off Danks, who threw strikes on 64 of 91 pitches.

“They were able to flip it out there and keep the line moving,” Danks said.

[MORE: White Sox bullpen coming around with improved health of Nate Jones]

While the White Sox had plenty of early hard contact against Price (5-2), they couldn’t keep pace against the former American League Cy Young winner.

The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on doubles by Emilio Bonifacio and Alexei Ramirez. But Price buckled down and minimized the damage as he mixed good fortune and a bit of dominance.

Whereas he needed his defense to stop a pair of Jose Abreu hot shots in the first and third innings, Price did it on his own later. He wiped out a leadoff Adam LaRoche single in the fourth inning with a double play off the bat of Gordon Beckham. Then he began a string of seven straight strikeouts with a whiff of Geovany Soto. Price struck out Avisail Garcia three times.

“We hit well but they were in a good position to catch the ball,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “We hit him very well in the beginning of the game, we just didn’t get lucky.”

Detroit added on to their lead with RBI doubles in the seventh and eighth innings by Iglesias and J.D. Martinez off Hector Noesi, respectively. The Tigers finished with 18 hits, including four by Wilson.

Price limited the White Sox to five hits in a complete-game effort.

“We just ran into David Price tonight and that’s about all you need to know,” Danks said. 

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

rodon.jpg
USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

avig.gif
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: