Danks, Sox able to apply pressure on Rays' Garza
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. You were on the mark about John Danks coming up big, and that Matt Garza can be a head case, weren't you?
A. It wasn't so much that the Sox got to Garza. He did it to himself. He got rattled out there and lot his control and messed around too much with groundskeeper Roger Bossard. He was feeling the pressure, but they have other pitchers like James Shields and Scott Kazmir who can handle it much better.
Q. And the Sox contributed to that pressure, right?
A. We got two-out RBI; we were stealing bases and putting pressure on them. I thought Danks made only one bad pitch in giving up the homer. Danks has had a lot of big games for us, and even when he's had some stinkers he's managed to bounce back. The biggest thing out of this game was that when we got that lead he came right back the next inning and protected it. He didn't give it up right away like we did in Tampa.
Q. What do you expect from the Game 4 starters?
A. I see a lot of good stuff with Gavin Floyd. He needs to get his curveball over early and he can be very effective. He has had a lot of success, and the game he pitched against Detroit to get us here was outstanding. Andy Sonnanstine threw a whale of a game against us this summer, and the players said he was unhittable that time. They have a good pitching staff. When they get ahead, they don't throw that ball out over the plate and they make you chase it. Sonnanstine knows how to pitch the corners.
Q. Why does it always seems that when something good happens for the Sox, A.J. Pierzynski's usually in the middle of it?
Q. He just plays hard and he plays smart. You hate A.J. when you play against him, and, like Ozzie Guillen says, you hate him a little less when he's on your team. He got us started early and got a big hit. What's amazing to me is that this is a whole different team when we're in our own ballpark.
Q. What was the key to the game for you?
A. The guys that set the table are the most important, and that's the starters. You need a good bullpen to finish the job, but good starting pitching sets the tone for the game, and Danks did his job. Now we need Gavin Floyd to do the same thing.
Q. And more timely hitting, right?
A. We got most of our runs from our 7, 8 and 9 hitters today, and those two-out runs were the difference.
• 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.