The Crosstown Showdown: John Danks Outduels Ryan Dempster, Sox Win 4-1

Josh WarrenCorrespondent IJune 17, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 17: Starting pitcher John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs on June 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago players say that they try to approach this series the same way that they would any other, and I'll try to do the same old White Sox recapping I've always done.

With that said, no one can deny the added feeling of fire in their bellies when they watch the White Sox and the Cubs go at it.

Perhaps John Danks is no different. Having been sub-par this season, at least as far as expectations were concerned, the southpaw came out to Wrigley Field sporting his A game, as did the rest of the Sox pitching.

Danks gave one of his best outings of the year on the north side, offering up seven innings of shutout baseball, before giving up just the one earned run, an RBI groundout by Alfonso Soriano. Danks didn't walk a single batter, struck out nine, and only surrendered five hits.

Ryan Dempster gave his best effort for the Cubs, looking spotty at times with a nearly fifty/fifty balls to strike ratio, but he managed to hold the Sox to only four hits. However, he gave up six walks as well, and got tagged for three earned runs, which was just a little too much.

Neither offense was stellar in the outing, but the Sox played some great small ball to get in a few runs. Danks even helped his own cause by advancing runners on a sac bunt, Scott Podsednik got a bunt single that scored a run, and only one Sox player went deep, when Alexei Ramirez homered in the first inning. Chris Getz added an RBI triple.

Scott Linebrink pitched a solid inning of relief for Danks, and Bobby Jenks looked to be over his minor side injury, picking up his fifteenth save.

Some Fun Facts: The White Sox now lead the Crosstown Classic series record, 34-33. Of all the times these two teams have met in inter-league play, neither has ever swept all six games.