Searching for past greatness - Lineups & Preview 5/30

This would be quite the pitching matchup in 2011. Ian Kennedy worked over 220 innings at a sub-2.90 ERA (and won 21 games) that year en route to a top-5 finish in the National League Cy Young race. For John Danks, 2011 wasn't his greatest season, but it was his last, full pre-injury season. In 2011, he was still John Danks, and not John Danks, who's still working to regain his form...

Better yet, a 2011 matchup against the Diamondbacks gave Danks one of his most famous/streotypically grindy moments. After taking a line-drive to the head in the fourth inning, Danks stayed in--probably in violation of sound medical practice--and wound up finishing seven innings with only two runs allowed, as the Sox cruised to a 6-2 win. "Damn, that's grindy," Kirk Gibson basically said at the time.

Now, Danks is a shell of himself after shoulder capsule surgery, and Kennedy, in the middle of his second-straight 4.00+ ERA season, was traded for a song to the owner of last year's worst pitching staff in baseball. Kennedy is looking rejuvenated this season, even if the results don't show it yet. He's struck out 72 batters while walking just 16 in 67 innings, and his early velocity readings have him up over a mile per hour from last year. Maybe he could talk to Danks.

Like many pitchers, Danks is pretty solid when his command and stuff are both humming with precision, as we saw last Saturday vs. New York, but it came right after the Houston Astros of all teams booted him all over the yard. Tonight will bring more mystery.

White Sox Lineup:                                                            

  1. Adam Eaton – CF

  2. Gordon Beckham – 2B

  3. Conor Gillaspie – 3B

  4. Dayan Viciedo – RF

  5. Adam Dunn – 1B

  6. Alexei Ramirez - SS

  7. Marcus Semien – DH

  8. Alejandro De Aza – LF

  9. Adrien Nieto -- C

John Danks -- SP

Adrien Nieto and Tyler Flowers are in quite a duel of unsustainable offense, but Nieto's method might be more fascinating. The casual fan will notice Nieto is hitting .308 over his 19 games. That's a difficult achievement, especially with his inexperience, and it shouldn't be minimized. Nieto's also done it while striking out 13 times and walking once in 41 plate appearances. He's also allowed 11 wild pitches and three passed balls in 18 games behind the plate, while mostly catching the decidedly untricky Danks. The Sox are doing an okay job hiding him, but I don't think it's much that Nieto is doing.

Padres Lineup:

  1. Everth Cabrera – SS

  2. Chris Denorfia – RF

  3. Carlos Quentin – DH

  4. Chase Headley – 3B

  5. Tommy Medica – LF

  6. Jedd Gyorko -- 2B

  7. Yonder Alonso – 1B

  8. Cameron Maybin -- CF

  9. Rene Rivera – C

Ian Kennedy -- SP

Where to Watch: Today’s game will be broadcast on CSN and Fox Sports San Diego.  7:10 p.m. Central start time.

Carlos Quentin is back in town and he's as you last left him. He's hit .364/.462/.636 on the the 10 games he's been healthy enough to play in.

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