Luckless Sox pitcher John Danks stuck in ‘that place’
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 12, 2011 12:36AM
Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn watches his home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Updated: June 13, 2011 2:05PM
ANAHEIM, Calif. — John Danks was in a deep mental funk after suffering yet another loss on Tuesday night.
‘‘I don’t know,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m at that place.’’
That place is no place to be. Danks became the first Sox pitcher to start a season 0-6 since Neil Allen in 1987.
Danks (4.50 ERA) had been the Sox’ tough-luck guy, pitching well enough to win but getting poor run support. He wasn’t good Tuesday, though, allowing six runs and 10 hits in a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He talked as if he had been bad all year.
‘‘I’m out of reasons,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t know. I’ve done the same thing I’ve done my whole career. I feel good. It’s just not working out. I don’t have any other way of putting it. But I’m back at it for my next start, whenever it is. We’ll go from there.’’
Danks said he appreciates support he’s getting from teammates, family, agents.
‘‘I don’t feel alone at all. At the same time, I’m more frustrated than I’ve ever been in my career,’’ he said.
‘‘On the whole, I feel I’ve thrown the ball better than what my record shows. But I’m still 0-6 and need to pull my weight and need to do better. Obviously, I don’t want to be the weak link on the team. Deep down, you almost feel like that.’’
Playing the field
Gordon Beckham has not let his slow start at the plate affect his defense. The second baseman hadn’t made an error going into Wednesday’s game.
‘‘I’ve played all of the infield positions, and second base is probably the easiest to play,’’ said Beckham, who was drafted as a shortstop and converted into a third baseman before settling in at second. ‘‘Listen, if I’m not going to hit .300, I’d better make the plays.’’
He has made all of the routine plays, and a lot of semi-tough ones, and that’s probably a greater feat over the long haul of a season than making the occasional spectacular play. The great ones just kind of happen when athleticism and reaction take over, Beckham said.
‘‘You have to stay locked in,’’
Right-hander Jeff Gray, who pitched three scoreless innings in the Sox’ loss Tuesday, was designated for assignment to make room for Jake Peavy. Gray’s ERA was 2.70 and would have been an asset. The only other option was to put long reliever Tony Pena (8.71), who had elbow discomfort last week, on the disabled list.
‘‘Maybe one of the toughest [decisions] you can make,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. ‘‘We talked a lot, had different opinions and looked at ways [around it]. This kid was great. I was worried about losing him. But hope we can keep him and he can come back here soon.’’
Pena has a one-year, $1.6 million contract.
‘‘It’s time for him to help us,’’ Guillen said.
Gavin Floyd threw on the side Wednesday and reported no problems that will keep him from making his scheduled turn on Saturday in Oakland.
Floyd took a shot off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki on Saturday. He has been limping slightly but said he will be fine.
◆ Paul Konerko’s homer Tuesday was his 374th, putting him past Rocky Colavito for 67th all-time.
◆ Carlos Quentin was first in the American League on the road in doubles (11), RBI (22), total bases (58) and homers (seven).