A pitching duel was expected on Friday but instead we got one on Sunday. Jose Quintana lasted well past his usual yanking point by dominating the Dodger lineup throughout. One scoring threat should have been a score, wasn’t, and the Sox were able to hold a lead late behind a single run scored on Dodger starter Chris Capuano. Unfortunately Quintana was not given a chance to finish the game out and the bullpen couldn’t hold it for him, the Sox dropped the game, and the series, 2-1.
White Sox (35-31): 1
Dodgers (42-25): 2
Chris Capuano didn’t have much trouble with the White Sox, they managed 6 hits off of the lefty but he also sat 12 batters down with strikeouts. In the 6th inning Brent Lillibridge lead off the inning with a single to left and was able to make second when Elian Herrera briefly bobbled it. Gordon Beckham moved him along with a groundout to second and after an Adam Dunn K, Dayan Viciedo served up a single to center and the first run of the game was scored.
In the bottom half of the inning the Dodger’s first run scoring threat was thwarted in rather unique fashion. With one out and Matt Treanor standing on third, Herrera lifted a short fly ball to right field and Alex Rios made a poor throw in to try and get the tagging Treanor. The play was then appealed, with the Sox saying that Treanor left third before the catch was made and after a bit of confusion the runner was called out. Replays show the call to be questionable, and Manager Don Mattingly was ejected from the game as a result. But as we’ve learned time and time again, the umpire’s decision is the umpire’s decision and the score remained 1-0.
Jose Quintana rolled through the innings like he never has before. When he walked off the mound after the 8th inning, he had himself a 1-0 lead, had allowed only 5 hits and thrown just 77 pitches. If you’re not second guessing you’re not watching the game. Rather than let Quintana finish out his gem, Robin Ventura elected to bring in Addison Reed: Closer and was rewarded with a blown save. The Dodgers pushed the tying run across on, of all things, a sacrifice fly to Rios. Once again Rios made a poor throw and the game headed for extras. Managing a baseball team probably isn’t much fun.
One extra is all it would take for the Dodgers. Tony Gwynn slapped what should have been a single to left, but Jordan Danks tried to be a hero and came up short on a dive allowing the ball to roll all the way to the wall, and Gwynn to run all the way to third. A couple batters later and Dee Gordon shot one right back out to left and that’s all she wrote.
Plus: Jose Quintana not only continued his success but did so without the tightrope act. He went out, he burned through the lineup with maximum efficiency and was unfortunately left with a no-decision.
Minus: Ventura pulling Quintana? Danks with the ill-advised dive in left field? Matt Thornton existing? Thornton has been easy to blame for a lot of the Sox failures late in games, but so often it’s not entirely in his hands. Would the young Danks not have dove for Tony Gwynn’s single, there would have just been a man on first. With the infield in and Gwynn on third Gordon Beckham made a superb play to keep the runner from scoring. If the runner was on first, Beckham is back and that’s a double play. It’s been that kind of a game for Matt Thornton, every game. And it’s unfortunate. He leads the league in losses out of the bullpen.