I don't understand what John Danks is doing. And I am becoming increasingly of the opinion that I do not want to. Squinting at an illusion forever seems like a good way to make it go away. Danks' stuff hasn't found great newfound life. His control has improved but he walked three batters Thursday. He's just unhittable now, and the more people stay ignorant as to why, the better.
Behind Danks' one run allowed over 7.1 innings, the Sox were able to skip their way out of Chavez Ravine with a series victory, despite having two solo home runs as their only offense.
The only two hits off Danks came from Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon, and probably traveled a combined seven feet in air. The last of which was a chopper than bounced over a poorly-positioned Leury Garcia's head at third for a double, and served as the sole run on Danks' line only after Gordon stole third, and scored on a RBI groundout, both after Danks had given way to Zach Putnam.
It was only after the bullpen came on that any drama got inserted into the bottom half of the innings at all. Danks and Noesi's back-to-back long outings allowed Robin Ventura's...administration (since he was ejected during a mound visit to Putnam) to play handedness matchups on Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez to clean out the eighth with the lead. Ronald Belisario's 1-2-3 ninth concluded a long, peaceful night of Dodgers hitting weakly into outs.
Dominant pitching covered up the otherwise frustrating 0-for-7 night with runners in scoring position for the Sox offense. Two solo home runs, headlined by a deliriously funny, first-career bomb from Leury Garcia out to dead center in the third, followed by Adam Dunn's ninth home run of the season in the fourth was the only scoring off Josh Beckett to support Danks.
Despite the aversion to hits, it's not as if Danks' night lacked drama or base runners. He walked three hitters and plunked Scott Van Slyke twice. In the fourth, after Gordon Beckham bobbled a grounder from Gonzalez, Ramirez nearly blew an inning-ending rundown by pegging at the lead runner Gonzalez well before he was any threat to score, and was only redeemed after a long review ruled Gonzalez was out at third. The umpires also needed an umpire crew to check on the count of balls and strikes in the fifth, and ejected Ventura in the eighth. They had quite a game.
Garcia and Alejandro De Aza are two poor-hitting outfield options competing for space right now. Both contributed highly unexpected multi-hit games in a rare opportunity. Jose Abreu's first inning double gave him an extra-base hit for every game in the series.
Team Record: 31-30
Next Game: Friday at 9:05 p.m. CT at Fake Los Angeles on CSN
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