What Danks has done this year is 'impresssive stuff'

  • Where was that (offense)?The White Sox' Nick Swisher questions home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor after striking out in the eighth inning Friday night.

    Where was that (offense)?The White Sox' Nick Swisher questions home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor after striking out in the eighth inning Friday night. Associated Press

 
 
Published10/5/2008 12:21 AM

Editor's note: Each day throughout the White Sox' playoff drive, we'll chat with former White Sox Bill Melton and share his answers to key questions.

Q. What has John Danks shown you this season?

 

A. What he's done, based on last year when he probably got a little weary, is remarkable. He found his way and he was as probably as consistent as anyone, other than Gavin Floyd. Mark Buerhle had a rough start and then turned things around too, so he's as solid as those two guys. He had 22 or 23 starts with 2 runs or less this year. That's impressive stuff.

Q. How should Danks pitch to Evan Longoria, and to the heart of their order?

A. Longoria is the heart of their order, and that's about it. You work around him. You find ways in the postseason to focus a little more to pitch to him only when you have to do so. If you can't work around him, then you go after his weaknesses, which is what Danks did against Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau of the Twins. He challenged them.

Q. What kind of an advantage is the Cell? Is it more than a launchpad?

A. It's not so much an advantage, but playing in those other places is a disadvantage for our team. We just don't feel comfortable in a dome. Their infield can play back in a dome against us, and it makes it tough to prevent a double play. We have to play in against speed teams, and they don't.

Q. Will Ozzie Guillen manage this game any differently than a Game 1?

A. He's the same manager either way. He had more things happen this year than in 2005, and he made a lot of adjustments. It was a lights-out bullpen the first half of the year, and then they couldn't get an out and he worked around them. He did the same with injuries. You have to manipulate people around, and he does. These adjustments he makes are just gut feelings. He'll keep looking to make something to happen.

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Q. What can the Sox expect from Matt Garza?

A. He's basically a 95-96 mph straight over the top power pitcher. He's got an attitude problem in that you can get to him and frustrate him. What's hard about a young club is closing out a series. That's really tough on a young team, and it puts a lot more pressure on them. Until they get that done, anything can happen.

Q. Is that because they don't have playoff experience?

A. I used to think so, but not now. They are a good young club that plays in a division with a lot of good pitching, and they've faced a lot of tough teams and played tough games on the road. They're a good club that has accomplished a lot.

• Former White Sox third baseman Bill Melton is Comcast SportsNet's studio analyst on "White Sox Pre-Game Live" and "White Sox Post Game Live." He led the American League with 33 homers in 1971.

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