Lefty John Danks made the Los Angeles Dodgers look pathetic at the plate last night as he led the Chicago White Sox to a 2-1 game and series win last night. Despite struggling at times this season, Danks looked like the kind of pitcher the White Sox know he can be, and his dominant start serves as part of a recent wave of success for the White Sox, in particular the team’s starting rotation in this series.
The night before Danks’ win, while most of the hype surrounded first baseman Jose Abreu and his successful return, the outing of starting pitcher Hector Noesi received very little attention. Ever since his first foray into the South Side rotation, doubts dogged Noesi as he struggled with command, control and the ability to help the team win. But as Abreu slugged his way back, Noesi quietly went six innings, giving up one run on five hits and earning his first win in over two years.
Starting pitching sets the tone for the rest of the game, and the White Sox will need that kind of momentum as they head into their stretch of games and as the all-important third month of the season continues. They next face the Los Angeles Angels, who also enter the series on a positive note after shutting out the Houston Astros last night.
From a big picture standpoint, the AL Central is the Detroit Tigers’ division and has been for the past several years. At the same time, especially right now, it’s easy to forget that the White Sox are actually sitting pretty in second place, just three games out of first, and have somehow managed to avoid the central’s cellar this season. And after the Angels, the White Sox dive right into a four-game set against the Tigers during which they will need to have all forces firing on all cylinders.