In his last 6 starts, John Danks hadn't recorded an out after the 5th inning, prompting me to keep a very close eye on Gavin Floyd's progress in Charlotte. On Saturday night, Danks answered my quiet criticism with the best start of his career on straw hat night at Kauffman Stadium.
Unlike his recent outings, Danks had no trouble locating his pitches, and was routinely ahead of Royals hitters. He threw first pitch strikes to the first 4 batters, 10 of the first 14 batters, and 17 of the total 27 batters he faced.
There wasn't one pitch that stuck out as working particularly well in this outing, but he was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes. For the most part, he cruised through his 8 innings of work, with his lone blemish coming on a hanging changeup (I think) to Emil Brown.
I hope Danks learned that he doesn't need to have his best stuff to get major league hitters out, so long as he can find the zone routinely. None of his pitches struck me as dominating Saturday, but he could throw them all for strikes, which made them all more effective.
In all of his stops at the minor league level, Danks has shown the ability to adjust to the tougher level of competition. It's generally taken about 10-12 starts before he really started to dominate the competition. Let's hope that this start was the cartoon light bulb over Danks' head.
Listening to Baseball Tonight while writing the recap just now, Buster Olney said "major league sources" indicated the White Sox have set a new deadline of Wednesday for the Buehrle deal. Coincidently, Wednesday is the next scheduled start for Jose Contreras, the other White Sox starter who is clearly on the trade block.
I'm ready for it to be done already. I suspect both sides feel the same way as well, but I expect it to go down to the eleventh hour before the White Sox finally cave to Buehrle's demands.