The foremost issue to address about Friday night's game is that it was cold. Bitterly, bitterly cold. Frigid.
John Danks was wearing short sleeves, and it only stands the reason that he was cold and nothing that happened in the 6th inning was his fault.
"The Red Sox had to play in it too. That's just an excuse," Danks said. "I'm not gonna use that. Daniel Bard pitched his ass off today in that weather. Part of the game. We're up here in Chicago, we know it's going to be cold early in the season, and more often than not that'll be advantage pitcher. And it sure as hell wasn't tonight.
Well put, Johnny. But I'm pretty sure there's nothing to be positive about a 10-3 loss to the Red Sox now.
John Danks - 5.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR - Mixed hyper-efficiency (26 pitches combined in 1st, 4th, and 5th inning) with madness (66 of the rest). The Danks Theory worked well, as lefties David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez combined for 2 for 5 with a HR and a walk against the starter.
Paul Konerko - 2 for 4, HR - Keeps chugging along, hopefully for the next 5 years
Daniel Bard - 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR - Threw 58 pitches in the first three frames, got through seven innings in 96 pitches. That's getting off the hook.
Bottom third of White Sox order - 1 for 11, 3 K - Somehow, still better than expected
Danks came into the 6th with dreadful control and quickly entered himself into a hell of his own making. However, the critical blow came when the rightly-maligned Darnell McDonald flipped a Danks's fastball down the left field line for a bases-clearing double. It was hard to come back after that, so accordingly, no real attempt was made.
Things would be different if..
Rather than go profundo and suggest that things would be a lot different if Danks were better or all of the Red Sox players were allergic to the smell of bacon, let's nitpick about something specific.
The Sox left runs on the field in the 1st inning.
Dunn was unable to score from 1st on Pierzynski's double to the wall in spite of there being two outs because the ball caromed directly back to McDonald, and Rios first pitch via househuting hunting and fouled out to end the inning. Rather than working Bard down early, the White Sox burned their best scoring chances.
The Sox are now mired in a four-game slump, and have really started to pour gasoline on whatever positive momentum they drummed up. The Sox will have to rectify the issue of their ace pitcher starting his first month with control problems and home run issues. Now would be a fine time for a rally that completely altered all thoughts on the White Sox team identity to occur.