Madison Bumgarner doesn't know how to win, nor does Matt Garza. And John Danks.
What do all these pitchers have in common? They've pitched quite well so far in 2011, and none of them know how to win. Garza arguably has pitched better than anyone in baseball, posting a 1.57 FIP in his first seven starts with the Cubs. Bumgarner, the young Giants left-hander, is 0-5 despite a 3.26 FIP. And then there's Danks, who is also 0-5 with a 3.80 FIP.
That idea of a pitcher not knowing how to win has become somewhat of a joke, and before it gets too hackneyed, here's an important note: Danks has received, on average, 2.67 runs of support this season. In four of the seven games he's started, the White Sox have scored two or fewer runs. He's been the victim of two bullpen mishaps (April 8 vs. Tampa Bay, April 13 vs. Oakland) that have cost him wins. In his last outing, Danks allowed three runs over eight innings...and took the loss.
And yet, I still see his 0-5 record being brought up as unlucky. As a pitcher, Danks hasn't been unlucky this year. He also hasn't been lucky, which is why he's the most likely to sustain success over the course of the season. You want unlucky? Opponents have a .388 BABIP against Garza, who is getting over four strikeouts for every walk issued.
Saying Danks has been unlucky is missing the bigger picture. Danks has had the bad luck of pitching on days when the White Sox offense goes cold or the bullpen implodes. As a pitcher, though, he's been luck-neutral. The wins should come as long as Danks keeps pitching as well as he has, but if they don't, Danks shouldn't be involved in the discussion.