Tagged: John Danks

6/6 – Game 1 vs. Mariners

That’s more like it, gentlemen!

John Danks is finally into the win column after a very frustrating (for both Sox fans and Danks) first two months of the year. This will have to go on my Games of the Year list just for the sake of Danks finally earning a win. If I’m wrong, let me know.

Adam Dunn continues to struggle. He struck out twice, climbing up to the eighty strikeout rung on the ladder, and left six men on base. Can you believe that? Six runners. Stranded. Absolutely ridiculous. I’m beginning to think there’s no hope for Dunn this season. If he were to heat up it should’ve been sooner than June. Quentin, Konerko, and Lillibridge are carrying this team right now. Speaking of Konerko, the captain hit his thirteenth home run of the season in the fourth inning. To go along with those thirteen homers, Konerko has driven in forty-six runs and is sporting a batting average of .314. Those are quality numbers

John Danks’ seven innings and some change earned him a standing ovation when he exited in in the eighth inning. Six strikeouts and one walk, Danks allowed just one unearned run in his best start of the 2011 season.

Jesse Crain entered the ballgame for the last two outs of the eighth inning and struck out a batter. Then Sergio Santos logged his eleventh save of the year as the Sox took game one of this series by a final score of three to one. Two points for Crain and Santos.

Well, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know what I got from FedEx today. A bright, shiny iPad 2. It seems like forever ago that I ordered it online from Apple and it finally came today. I was able to watch the Sox game on the MLB At-Bat app and, even though it’s pretty much a portable Gameday, it was pretty to look at. I’m gonna really enjoy using this thing for the rest of the year and beyond. I’ll get some pictures up tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, we get a pretty good pitching matchup. Phil Humber (4-3, 3.06) will be opposed by Felix Hernandez (6-4, 3.04). Should be a good’n, guys!

Go Sox!!

5/28 – Game 3 @ Blue Jays

Well, I’ve had enough time to recuperate after this loss and I’m ready to blog about it now.

It was an excellent fight through all fourteen innings in Toronto. We battled as much as we could, our bullpen (for the most part) held us in there… it just came down to one pitch. Corey Patterson launched a Gavin Floyd fastball into the right field bullpen for a two-run walk-off home run. The Sox had several chances to score runs but, as Ozzie Guillen pointed out (quite blatantly, actually) the offense just couldn’t execute.

Brent Lillibridge started off the Sox scoring with a home run that drove in Alex Rios (who seems to be moving from second to third on wild pitches quite a lot in this series). Then Alexei Ramirez drove in Brent Morel on a single to tie the game and Adam Dunn struck out to end the inning. The Jays jumped ahead with two runs in the bottom of the third and it stayed that way until the top of the fifth. Juan Pierre led off the inning by reaching first base on an error and moving to second on an Alexei Ramirez ground out. Adam Dunn singled to center field to drive in Pierre as the Sox moved within a run of Toronto. Paul Konerko hit a rocket double that moved Dunn to third, then both Dunn and Konerko scored on an A.J. Pierzynski two-bagger.

The score stayed the same until the bottom of the seventh when, with the bases loaded and the reliable Jesse Crain on the mound, Juan Rivera hit a double off the wall in left field that cleared the bases. Some argue that Juan Pierre had a legitimate chance at catching this ball and upon looking at the replay I agree. Had Pierre not done that stupid little Alfonso Soriano hop and had he not turned his head away from the ball we would’ve gotten out of the inning and probably would have won the game. No biggie, though, cuz in the top of the eighth inning The Bridge scored on a passed ball to bring us within one. An inning later Konerko doubled to score Alexei Ramirez and that’s where the nailbiting began.

The game stayed tied for five innings and both teams had a few opportunities to score. Then yadda yadda Corey Patterson wins and Canada is happy. Hooray Corey.

I’m starting to feel really bad for Adam Dunn. No doubt he came into the season with a lot of pressure on himself to be the big bat in the lineup. Almost two months in he’s leading the Major League’s in strikeouts and is fighting to keep his batting average over .200. My mom, who isn’t that big of a baseball fan, says he has to be really embarrassed. I just don’t know what’s wrong with him. Is it the pressure? Is it the DH? Is it the American League pitching? The ballparks? The uniform? Ozzie? That one hot dog guy? He left his toothbrush in Washington? It has to be something. He’s even changed the color of his bat from plain wood to completely black – he’s doing anything to get out of this rut. The engine is revving but the wheels are stuck in the mud.

Edwin Jackson pitched… well, he pitched. Six and two thirds innings, six runs, one walk, seven strikeouts. Not the best outing for a starting pitcher that we’ve seen and it was completely avoidable. The Blue Jays aren’t even that good of a team so I don’t get why we’re struggling both offensively and on the pitching side.

For the bullpen, Chris Sale and Sergio Santos get two points; Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, and Gavin Floyd don’t get any points.

Man, I had a lot to say about this game, didn’t I? Huh.

The fourth and final game of this series is tomorrow at 12:07. The still winless John Danks (0-7, 4.34) will go against Ricky Romero (4-4, 2.91).

Can someone – FOR THE LOVE OF MINNIE MINOSO – get Johnny a win!?

Go Sox.

5/22 – Game 3 vs. Dodgers

Unfortunately I missed the game today because some people from church invited my family over for lunch. I had a good time and forgot about the game until I was in the car on the way home.

From the looks of the box score it seems that Edwin Jackson pitched pretty well. He threw one hundred seven pitches, though, in his short outing. Edwin allowed one run in five and two thirds innings of work, striking out seven and walking two. It’s frustrating when I miss good games like this one (but like I said I had a good time).

Alexei Ramirez had a breakout game, collecting five RBI on four hits including a two-run home run in the first inning. A.J. Pierzynski also went deep in the first – only his second home run of the year – as the Sox bats continue to heat up. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko also drove in one run each.

Can we give Paulie a standing ovation really quick? *stands up and applauds* He has thirty-six RBI so far and he’s been the most consistent batter on the team this year. He’s definitely earning the money we paid to bring him back. Unlike another first baseman on the roster. Who’s name isn’t Dallas McPherson. Twenty-one runs batted in is nice… four home runs is alright… fifty-seven strikeouts though? He’s leading the Major Leagues. Not the American League… he’s leading everybody. He’s even leading Mark Reynolds.

The bullpen had a decent game. Chris Sale gave up two runs so he’ll only get one point (I’m excited about the win so I’m being a little forgiving today), Jesse Crain picked up his seventh hold of the season after one inning of work, and Matt Thornton somehow picked up a save with a five run lead. The save rule has always confused me. Two points for both Crain and Thornton.

I’m excited all over again for this team. I know the entire Sox fanbase has gotten that way a couple of times this year but I think this is for real now. Two out of three from the Dodgers is excellent. Let’s keep it going.

The winless John Danks (0-6, 4.32) will take on Alexi Ogando (4-0, 2.13) as the Sox head out to Texas to play the Rangers. Get Johnny in the win column, boys!

Go Sox!!

5/16 – Game 1 vs. Rangers

Let me just say that WordPress is one of the main reasons I don’t blog on the site I pay money for a domain name for, and now I have to use it for the blog I was really starting to like. Just an aesthetic thing from my standpoint. I won’t stop blogging, I’ll be here all year, I just don’t really enjoy WordPress.


And what a game to come back to, huh? The Rangers shut us out four to nothing. Apparently someone forgot to tell Colby Lewis that it wasn’t the postseason. A.J. Pierzynski, who always seems to be most productive when the Sox are losing, collected two hits in three at-bats against the Texas right-hander. Two out of the five we could pull out of the air. Lewis was really, really good tonight and when a pitcher is on like that you’re not gonna do much.

The bullpen dominated after Edwin Jackson’s shaky start. Tony Pena, Chris Sale, and Will Ohman only allowed one hit as a collective group. We’re turning into one of the most effective and dangerous bullpens in the league but it’s too bad our starting pitching is starting to go south (and I don’t mean to that side of Chicago). Two points for errebuddy.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 24 points
2. Jesse Crain – 19 points
3. Will Ohman – 16 points
4. Chris Sale – 15 points
5. Matt Thornton – 10 points
5. Tony Pena – 10 points
 Jeff Gray (DFA 5/11/11) – 9 points
I have a new… hmm… well, I don’t know how to describe it without giving away what it is, but IT will be in my possession soon and I can’t wait to share it with you. It will make… things… a lot better and a lot easier – you’ll see why when you see what it is. I could get it as early as tomorrow or as late as Friday the 27th, but definitely on or between those dates. Probably sooner than Friday but I’m rambling now.
The winless John Danks (0-6, 4.50) will take on some kid named Matt Harrison (3-4, 4.35). I’ve never heard of him. That’s a bad sign.
Go Sox!!
EDIT: Above is a prime example of why I don’t like WordPress. It doesn’t separate my paragraphs and that drives me nuts. Can someone help me figure out why it won’t do this?

5/10 – Game 2 @ Angels

Rough game coming off of that three-game win streak, and an especially rough game for John Danks, who just can’t seem to catch a break lately. The guy is 0-6 this year and the offense just can’t give him any run support. It wasn’t all the offense’s fault in this game, though, as Danks wasn’t exactly pitching well, allowing six runs in five innings. 
Paul Konerko hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning, his ninth homer of the year, and Alexei Ramirez scored on an Adam Dunn double in the sixth inning. That was all we could do against Cy Piniero in game two of this three game set. 
I can’t figure out what exactly is going wrong with this team because for the last three nights we were so good and then tonight it fell apart. Maybe the 0.71 ERA of Piniero was intimidating? Ed Farmer seemed to think Piniero was doing something to the baseball because of how frequently Joel would take his hat off and then throw a pitch that would suddenly drop out of the zone. Whether that’s true doesn’t matter as Piniero didn’t get caught and pitched pretty well. 
My friend Ethan, who is a Cardinals fan, and I have an ongoing argument about Kenny Rogers’ performance in the 2006 World Series. Remember that game? He had pine tar on his hand which allowed for a little extra control and got caught by the home plate umpire. Rather than being ejected, which Ethan thought was the right call, The Gambler was told to wash it off. Rogers came back out and pitched eight innings of two-hit, shutout baseball against the Cardinals. One of the best postseason pitching performances I’ve ever seen. (In order: Roy Halladay in Game One of the 2010 NLDS, Cliff Lee in Game One of the 2009 World Series, Kenny Rogers in Game Two of the 2006 World Series, and Orlando Hernandez in Game Three of the 2005 ALDS.) Ethan says if Rogers had been ejected that never would’ve happened whereas my argument is that the pine tar clearly didn’t matter as Rogers owned the Cards anyway. 
That really has nothing to do with my opinion on whether Piniero was doctoring the baseball, it just made me think of it and I felt like sharing it with you. 
I make a point to share funny conversations between Ed and Darrin, whenever they have a funny conversation, so here’s one from tonight:
Ed: This infield isn’t as fast as ice but it’s pretty close.
DJ: As cold as ice, did you say?
Ed: Fast.
DJ: Willing to sacrifice?
Ed: …yeah.
My dad and I actually laughed out loud in the car on the way home from magic club. You can’t beat a good (yet slightly obvious in this situation) Foreigner reference. 
Jeff Gray managed to pitch himself out of three jams, one per inning of work, and collected three strikeouts in doing so as he struck out the side in the sixth inning with two runners on base. Two points for Jeff. (As Keleigh pointed out, Jeff probably reads my blog and wanted to earn more points. I’ll comply.) These points let him leapfrog over Pena and Thornton for fifth place. Jesse Crain is creeping up on Sergio Santos for first place, though. Should be a good race. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 21 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 14 points
4Chris Sale – 13 points
5Jeff Gray – 9 points
7Tony Pena – 8 points
7. Matt Thornton – 8 points

Tomorrow will be a big day because Jake “The Project” Peavy (0-0, -.–) will make his 2011 season debut against Tyler Chatwood (2-1, 4.08). Good luck, Peaves!
Go Sox!!

5/4 – Game 2 vs. Twins

Well, the Twins took both games of this enjoyable little series. 3-2 today, so we got some hits, which is cool. Juan Pierre led off the Sox half of the first inning with a single up the middle so Nick Blackburn’s hopes of a no-hitter were dashed immediately. We left a handful of runners on base, including two in the bottom of the ninth. John Danks followed up Edwin Jackson’s great start with a great start of his own, going eight innings and allowing three runs on eight hits.

Alexander the Resurgent continued his hot streak with a home run, his third of the season. 
Jesse Crain had yet another dominant inning out of the bullpen. This guy is really picking up his game lately and I’m confident every time he toes the rubber. If he and Santos can keep this up I’ll be happy with the back end of our bullpen. Two points for Crain will tie him with Santos for first place.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Jeff Gray – 7 points
5. Matt Thornton – 7 points
7Tony Pena – 6 points

I was distracted for most of the game because, as you should know, today
is May 4th. For us Star Wars nerds this is “May the Fourth” as in “May the Fourth be with you.” Someone on Twitter decided it’d be hilarious to change a word in a Star Wars quote to the word “pants.” So EVERYONE on Twitter was doing this, including myself, and I was having a blast. Here are some of the good ones:
It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, like your pants, will be mine.
It’s an older code, sir, but it checks out. I was just about to pants them.
Hey Luke, thanks. Thanks for coming after me. I owe you pants.
Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your pants.
I’ve just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of pants forever.
You look strong enough to pull the pants off a Gundark.
Just to give a few of them. Those were all mine, by the way, but people had some hilarious ones. A good time was definitely had by all – even during another painful Sox game. Gotta give the boys credit for trying. 3-2 is a lot better than 1-0. 
Off day tomorrow as the Sox are traveling to Seattle for our annual West Coast trip. Mariners, Angels, and A’s (Oh my!) on this swing starting with the M’s Friday night at 8:10. Phil Humber (2-3, 3.06) vs. Felix Hernandez (3-2, 3.21). They kid nobody saw coming has a better ERA than the defending AL Cy Young award winner. 
Go Sox!!

5/3 – Game 1 vs. Twins

Well, congratulations to my arch nemesis on a game well played. Edwin Jackson pitched a heck of a ballgame, allowing a homer to Jason Kubel for the Twins’ only run, but Francisco Liriano managed to throw a no-hitter. Good job, I guess?

Thornton with a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts. Two points.
No errors from the defense so I guess that’s good.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
2Jesse Crain – 17 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Jeff Gray – 7 points
5. Matt Thornton – 7 points
7Tony Pena 6 points

I don’t have anything else to say about this game.
John Danks (0-4, 3.92) vs. Nick Blackburn (1-4, 5.14) tomorrow at 1:10. 
I live and die with this team and tonight I died a little. Getting no-hit is bad enough but getting no-hit against the Twins is even worse. And to top it all off it was Liriano’s first career complete game.
Go Sox. 

4/12 – Game 2 vs. A’s

See that? As soon as we get Adam Dunn back in the lineup we come away with an epic win. Adam Dunn’s presence = Epic Win. 

Since the beginning of the season I’ve posted “I love this team” as my Facebook status four times, and it is games like this that merit yet another posting of that status. Edwin Jackson had his first shaky start of the year but it was alright, our bullpen held us in it. 
Alexei Ramirez started off and ended the scoring, hitting a 3-run tater in the second inning and the walk-off bomb in the tenth. Paul Konerko and Juan Pierre each drove in one run, so everyone is getting the job done.
What’s so nice about this lineup is that you don’t necessarily need to count on one guy to drive in all of the runs. Adam Dunn? Sure. Konerko? Yeah, probably. Quentin? Sometimes. But the guys like Morel and Pierre and even Mark Teahen are driving in runs. Another team that has the same kind of lineup reliability is the Milwaukee Brewers. Other than that, I can’t really think of a team that is dangerous one through nine. The Red Sox are pretty good on paper but they haven’t really executed so far this year. The Sox and the Brewers are the only teams (at the moment) who can be comfortable with any of their players at the plate. 
Ohman, Pena, Santos, and Sale all made appearances out of the bullpen. Pena somehow blew a save in the sixth inning so he’ll only get one point, everyone else gets two. Sergio Santos is really impressing me this season. In five games he’s pitched 7.1 innings, given up five hits, surrendered three walks, but has struck out nine and has an ERA of 0. Opponents are hitting .185 against him! He was pretty solid last season and it looks as though he’s continuing that into this 2011 campaign. I hope he, Crain, and Sale can continue to be the guys we can count in the late innings. I have no clue what is wrong with Thornton right now but he just can’t seem to gain command of his pitches. Maybe being the official closer is too much for him? Who knows, he just doesn’t have “it” right now. 
1:05 start time for tomorrow’s game. In The Battle of the Left-Handers, John Danks (0-1, 4.50) will face Brett Anderson (0-1, 1.93). Danks, much like Thornton, hasn’t really found his groove yet. He pitched well enough against Cleveland but unfortunately Justin Masterson wanted to show the Sox the Indians were for real. Then the Rays beat him up for four runs over six innings in that Dan Johnson “I’ll Suddenly be a Hero” game. Ugh.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 6 points
2. Matt Thornton – 5 points
2. Jesse Crain – 5 points
2. Will Ohman – 5 points
2. Chris Sale – 5 points
3. Tony Pena – 3 points

Go Sox!!

4/2 – Game 2 @ Cleveland

I know this will never be read by the players, but… could this dominant play like… keep going? 

Edwin Jackson pitched a heck of a ballgame. Seven strikeouts and three runs over six innings will keep an offense in any game – especially this offense. Even his four walks weren’t too bad. Then Sale and Santos threw three innings and only allowed two hits combined. 
Carlos Quentin kept up his hot streak by going 2-4, including a double that drove in two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Gordon Beckham was also 2-4 and is tied with Quentin for the team lead in batting average. 
It’s good to see that this team can score eight runs without hitting a home run. I was worried that with Dunn, Konerko, Rios, and Quentin our scoring would be like video game scoring: All home runs and not many runs driven in via singles and doubles. In the first two games the Sox have proven they can do both. Someone on Facebook pointed out, though, that we’re beating up on the Indians and not a team that’s a real threat. When we play the Rays starting Thursday, or even the Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’ll be interesting if we can hold our own against them. 
Johnny Danks will pitch tomorrow against Justin Masterson in the final game of this opening series. Hopefully Carlos Quentin can keep driving in runs like he has been and we should be in line for a sweep.
I’d like to point out that the last time the Sox started the season with two wins was 2005. That was a decent season.
Go Sox!!