Plenty of great pitching left, as Danks shows
By DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com July 27, 2011 10:38PM
Juan Pierre of the White Sox reacts to the umpire's call that he was tagged out at home plate in the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: November 2, 2011 12:43AM
The White Sox were dealing from strength when they traded Edwin Jackson on Wednesday. John Danks underscored that again, pitching six scoreless innings before allowing a leadoff home run to the Detroit Tigers’ Austin Jackson in the seventh inning Wednesday.
Since the All-Star break, Sox pitchers have a 2.01 ERA over 98 innings. Danks, in his last six starts, is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA.
As usual, there was little margin for error for the pitching staff. The Sox lineup mustered two runs on a homer by Alejandro De Aza. Danks used his cutter and changeup to rack up 10 strikeouts, tying his career high. He got his fourth win after starting the year 0-8.
‘‘I felt like I had as good of stuff as I’ve had all year,’’ Danks said. ‘‘It was a little frustrating not being able to throw the ball exactly where I wanted to throw it. I felt like I was effectively wild, I guess is the best way of putting it.’’
Chris Sale retired all eight batters he faced, lowering his ERA to 1.19 over his last 22 games. Sergio Santos retired pinch hitter Brennan Boesch for a one-out save. The bullpen’s ERA is 1.08 over the last 25 games.
‘‘I think when it’s all said and done we’re going to be the team to reckon with,’’ Danks said of the American League Central race that finds the Sox trailing the Tigers by 31/2 games. ‘‘That doesn’t mean any disrespect to anyone else, but we have a good group of guys in here. Plenty of talent.’’
As deadline nears
A win or two against the Boston Red Sox on Friday and Saturday would seem to lessen the chances of more cost-saving deals for the Sox. Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton’s name has popped up in various trade rumors this week.
‘‘It’s a daily exercise,’’ general manager Ken Williams said when asked if more deals were on the horizon. ‘‘All day, all night, seeing what the possibilities are. Trying to get as creative as you can get to make something happen.’’
Williams said the payroll is ‘‘less stressed’’ after Wednesday’s trade.
‘‘And we were already looking at creative things,’’ he said. ‘‘Maybe we can look at some things that are creative in a different way now. We’ll see.’’
Used to it now
Jackson, 27, whom the Sox acquired before last season’s trade deadline for Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg, was 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA this season. He has been traded seven times during his career, twice on Wednesday.
‘‘You leave a great group of guys,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘But at the end of the day, it’s nothing I can control. The only thing I can do is pitch for the team I’m with and help that team win.’’