CHICAGO -- Slipping a Chicago Blackhawks hat over his head, Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks shot off the first question before answering anything from the media about the Sox’s 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Danks wanted to know the Blackhawks’ playoff score. Told the Hawks were up 1-0 at last glance, Danks smiled and was ready to move on. He felt good not only where the Hawks were going on the night, but he also felt satisfied his own team was moving in the right direction despite another disappointing loss.
Even though the White Sox had dropped their third consecutive game Tuesday, falling to .500 after building a 5-2 record, Danks believes this year’s team isn’t capable of losing control of the season like it did last April. The Sox opened last season with a 7-4 record before dropping seven straight games and finishing the month 10-18.
“Last couple games, we felt we probably could have won, probably should have won,” said Danks, who allowed five hits and three runs in seven innings. “The feeling this year is nothing like last year. This group of guys are tough enough, are good enough to bounce back. Every team is going to go through a [three-game] losing streak. That’s just baseball. It’s a long season.
“We’re going to be just fine. We got to continue to throw the ball well and have good timely hitting. This team doesn’t die. … Like I said before, if we play this well and play like this the rest of the year, this should make for a fun summer.”
The Sox nearly overtook the Orioles in the ninth inning, getting runners on first and third with one out, and later the bases loaded with two outs, but they struggled to find the clutch hit. The White Sox stranded runners in six of the nine innings and left a total of nine runners on base.
“It’s frustrating, but I like that kind of fight, just batting all the way,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “You’re going to lose some like that. But when you battle like that at-bat after at-bat, guys doing that, you’re going to win a lot more games than you’re going to lose.”
White Sox veteran Paul Konerko said what’s most impressed him so far this season has been the team’s ability to rebound from tough situations.
“The attitude is good,” Konerko said. “When stuff happens out there, I think we’re quicker to get back on the positive note. Sometimes that’s tough when things go bad, give up runs, don’t get guys in, you kind of dwell on that for a couple of innings. I think we’re able to snap that back into shape quickly, and we’ve done that well since the beginning of the year. That’s a good habit to have. Hopefully, we keep that going.”
And if they do that, Danks was confident the fans would start filling U.S. Cellular Field again. The White Sox announced a paid attendance of 11,267 fans on Tuesday. It was their smallest crowd since having 10,520 fans against the Cleveland Indians on April 6, 2005.
Danks did believe Tuesday’s small crowd was circumstantial.
“The Blackhawks are playing,” Danks said. “I don’t blame people. It’s cold outside, and the Blackhawks are in the playoffs. We got all summer to have people to come out.”