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One day after I came up with one way the 2010 White Sox could theoretically put together a run, they went ahead and put together the template: Just enough offense to allow John Danks one mistake.
And seriously, one mistake is all he made. It was a performance so brilliant that I’m going to award him four Jawin’ Johnnys.
Two things stood out to me in particular:
No. 1: That might’ve been the best cutter I’ve ever seen him throw.
He was pretty vicious with it, really working it inside to right-handed hitters, and missing far more often inside than over the heart of the plate. It bought him time and made his changeup all the more effective when he finally found it around the fourth inning.
No. 2: The Rays didn’t know what to do with his curve.
Ever since Danks developed the cutter, he’s basically abandoned his curve, and for the better. Unlike Bobby Jenks’ hook, Danks’ curve has always been his least effective offering. It’s more of a show-me pitch.
Danks only threw seven curves against the Rays, but five of them were good for called strikes, and another was fouled off. He didn’t have outstanding location on them, but the count must have surprised the Tampa Bay hitters, as he was using it nicely to grab early strikes.
Perhaps the advance scouting team deserves credit, or perhaps he and A.J. Pierzynski may have learned something from his previous outing. Danks had no problems throwing his curve for strikes, but the only two Toronto hits came on curves. He threw 12 of them against the Jays, which is high for him, so maybe he and Pierzynski picked his spots better.
(And speaking of Jenks, he resembled Heritage Bobby: 18 pitches: 12 fastballs, four curves for an easy save. How ’bout it.)
Also convenient was A.J. Pierzynski addressing his future with the White Sox.
It sounds pretty cut-and-dried:
‘‘I’m sure,’’ Pierzynski said of the trade talk surfacing in the media. ‘‘Everyone knows my situation, I’m a free agent at the end of the year. But I also know this, if it gets to about June then they can’t trade me, so they’re going to have to make a decision here pretty quick.’’
I don’t know if that means he wouldn’t accept any trade, but I can certainly see him being stubborn and exercising his rights just for the hell of it. The Sox should be prepared for that reality.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Ozzie Guillen vowed to stick with one lineup for lefties and one for righties. Andruw Jones should be in both.
*The vultures are circling at MLB Trade Rumors, which lists the tradeable White Sox should they become sellers.
*Kenny Williams said it’s too early to talk trades, even by his standards. But he was in lighter spirits than one would expect.
“You don’t like what you see, you turn to the news for five minutes and watch ABC or NBC to see what’s happening in Chicago, and turn it back. Still don’t like what’s going on? Let’s turn to ‘Growing Pains.’ But I can always go back. You never know when your team might come back.”
I’m filing that one away.
Minor league roundup:
- Durham 11, Charlotte 0
- Jordan Danks went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Dayan Viciedo (one K) and C.J. Retherford (two K’s) each went 0-for-3.
- Jeff Marquez cruised until the fourth inning. Final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
- Things aren’t going well for Greg Aquino, who allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in an inning of work.
- Jacksonville 6, Birmingham 5
- Brent Morel went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
- Christian Marrero went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, but was caught stealing.
- John Shelby singled, doubled and drove in a run in five at-bats.
- Jhonny Nunez had his first rough start this season: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.
- Winston-Salem 7, Myrtle Beach 1
- Nathan Jones had a great outing, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five.
- Santos Rodriguez got back on track with a perfect inning, striking out two. Kyle Bellamy did the same.
- Jon Gilmore had three hits, raising his average to .388.
- Eduardo Escobar doubled and struck out in four at-bats.
- Drew Garcia went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI; Justin Greene singled, walked twice and stole his third base.
- Kannapolis 3, Rome 2 (20 innings)
- Trayce Thompson went 2-for-6 with his second homer (a solo shot) and two walks. He struck out once and was caught stealing.
- Kyle Colligan went 2-for-8 with a double, a walk and two RBI.
- Nick Ciolli (double, three K’s) and Kevin Dubler (double, one K) had two hits as well.
- Juan Silverio went 1-for-8 with three strikeouts.
- Ryan Buch (one hit, one walk) and Drew O’Neil (one hit, three K’s) threw two scoreless innings.
- Jimmy Ballinger contributed three hitless innings of relief, striking out three to just one walk.
- They played 20 innings in four hours and 41 minutes.
The White Sox added another left-handed arm by acquiring Double-A pitcher Andrew Dobies from Boston for a player to be named later or cash. He appears to be nothing special.