Danks sparkled in his six innings of work, allowing just one run on six hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts.
He threw a lot of pitches—102—but 73 of them were strikes. The Rays made Danks work by fouling off a lot of his pitches, but that didn't affect how Danks pitched.
With his outing today, Danks now has an ERA of 2.86. It's really a shame that he hasn't got the kind of run support he deserves in some of his other starts—if he did, we'd be talking about Danks being around 6-2 and being a lock for this year's All-Star game. Instead, with his win today, his record is now 4-4.
Today's effort truly was a team effort by the offense. Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and Joe Crede notched an RBI apiece and seven out of the nine hitters in the lineup recorded a hit.
Thome and Konerko, who have been mired in massive slumps for the past month or so, both picked up two hits and Konerko even added his first home run in 95 at-bats when he drilled a Jason Hammel fastball for a solo home run off the left field catwalk in the top of the eighth.
Cabrera continued his hot streak with two hits and a run scored, including a big RBI double coming in the sixth.
If the Sox can finally get Thome and Konerko going, there's no telling how good this offense will be with Cabrera, Pierzynski, Quentin, Dye, and Crede all hitting well right now.
Matt Thornton and Octavio Dotel combined to shut the Rays down in the seventh and eighth innings before Boone Logan came into the game to finish off Tampa Bay in the ninth.
Thornton was very impressive in his inning of work, seeing his fastball touch 98 mph on the radar gun. It was good to see him get a full inning, as Ozzie Guillen has been using him more in situational spots lately.
Dotel had a relative down outing, only striking out a batter. He now has 36 on the year in 22.2 innings of work.
Logan added a strikeout of his own in his scoreless inning of work. With his outing, Logan's ERA is down to a solid 2.50.
This bullpen has been really, really good, and I keep saying it—it's been one of the biggest reasons for the White Sox turnaround this year. With the three scoreless innings today, the Sox bullpen has not allowed a run in their last 29 innings of work.
I'll just let that sink in.
The Sox' inability to hold runners on second base
Three times today did the Rays steal third base uncontested—and one is too many. Neither second baseman Alexei Ramirez nor Cabrera were jockeying the runner at second and no Sox pitcher made an effort to even look the runners back.
Luckily, Danks and Dotel were able to pitch over these situations—but the next time it happens, the Sox might not be so lucky. This is a problem that needs to be corrected—you can't just allow a runner on second to move into third, especially with less than two outs.
Nothing here. Jose Contreras goes tomorrow against James Shields in what should be a great game.
Also, at 11:00 AM, No. 2 seed Mizzou takes on No. 3 seed Ole Miss in the Coral Gables Regional. Winning this game will be crucial if Mizzou wants to have any chance of coming out of the regional—which is hosted by Miami, the No. 1 team in the nation.