Danks retires 16 straight in loss

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
5:25
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- John Danks' outing on Wednesday seemed like a microcosm of his entire season.

The Chicago White Sox starter pitched well enough after giving up four runs in the first two innings, but the end result was his 14th loss in a frustrating year. After having season-ending shoulder surgery in 2012, Danks’ comeback has been laborious at times.

“He was down in the zone later in the game,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said after his team’s 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. “I think early on he didn’t have a feel for it. He was up in the zone and they made him pay for it.”

The most difficult issue for the 28-year-old pitcher has been his command issues. Danks’ velocity has come back three or four miles per hour in a given start. The rest of the equation is solving the location on a variety of pitches.

“We are not in instructional league here,” Danks said. “We are judged on our success. Wins and losses are all that matter here. I would not have come back when I did if I didn’t think I could help this club win ball games. Certainly it has not been fun. I will continue to work hard and get things straightened out.”

Danks retired 16 straight hitters Wednesday, pitching seven innings in the loss after a three-run second inning. He has allowed four or more runs in each of his last four starts, going 0-4 with a 8.02 ERA. Danks’ record of 4-14 is the lowest winning percentage by a Sox starting pitcher since 1978.

An offseason of work should pay added dividends going toward next season. Danks plans on spending some time with pitching coach Don Cooper in Nashville this winter.

“I will take a little bit off time off,” Danks said. “I will continue to play catch and spend some time with Coop. That will be good.”

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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