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Frustrated Danks running out of answers

5/11/2011
John Danks admitted he's more frustrated than at any other point in his career. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- They set a world record at Angel Stadium on Tuesday for the largest gathering to wear costume wrestling masks, but John Danks ended up being the only one who wanted to hide his face.

Danks gave up six runs and 10 hits over five innings in a 6-2 defeat to the Angels and remained winless at 0-6 after eight starts.

"I'm at that place," Danks said. "I don't know. We're going to keep doing what we're doing. Obviously I felt I had pretty good command .. maybe too good of command. I felt I was getting ahead of guys and then letting them off the hook like I didn't have a real sharp put-away pitch."

It's not the best of times for a White Sox starter to offer a clunker of an outing. An ambitious six-man rotation will begin in earnest Wednesday, but it won't last forever and somebody is going to ultimately have to be displaced.

It had been a week straight now of solid White Sox starts, but Danks became the first to blink when he was roughed up. Alberto Callaspo roughed him up for three RBI and the diminutive Maicer Izturis tagged him for a home run.

Projected to be the starter most capable of anchoring the staff when Jake Peavy on the mend, Danks won get another start for a week which will make him winless through the first 1½ months. And where a lack of run support could be blamed for some of his issues, Danks had to accept the responsibility this time.

"I said it a couple of times now, this is getting old, it really is," Danks said. "I don't know. It's tough."

Danks walked just two batters and threw 68 of his 94 pitches for strikes, so it's not like he had issues finding the strike zone.

"I felt like I was able to get ahead and I had a pretty good fastball, pretty good command of it," Danks said. "But whenever I was trying to make a pitch, especially early in the game, trying to throw a cutter at the back foot or a changeup down and away, it was up and wasn't doing exactly what I wanted it to do. It was frustrating. I don't know how else to put it."

Moments before Danks said he was "at that place," manager Ozzie Guillen was asked if the struggles had gotten to his left-hander.

"I don't think so; I hope not," Guillen said. "This guy hangs around with Mark Buehrle and all those guys and they are very pro. They know what they are doing. You don't worry about that. You worry about giving the team a chance and continuing to pitch the way he pitches. He will win some games. He wasn't throwing the ball where he wanted to."

With a six-man rotation in effect starting Wednesday when Peavy returns, not to mention an off day Thursday, Danks will have plenty of time to recover mentally.

"I have a strong backbone," he said. "I've been in a lot of contact with family and agents and everybody. I don't feel alone at all. At the same time, I'm more frustrated than I've ever been in my career. I don't know. I feel like I've thrown the ball decently. Today I didn't have it, and I gave it up. On the whole, I feel I've thrown the ball better than what my record shows."