When Jose Quintana got through the 1st inning using only 6 pitches, it was clear he was about to have a good night. It was no illusion. Quintana went 8 shutout innings seemingly un-offended by the lack of run support provided to assist him. It was the one run of support that left his great outing hanging out there for a no-decision, as the Red Sox took this one in a 9th inning walk-off winner.
White Sox (50-42): 1
Red Sox (48-45): 3
The lone White Sox run of the game came slowly and from a “speedy” Adam Dunn. Dunn earned a walk to lead off the 4th, and when Paul Konerko singled to right he turned the burners on to beat the throw into third. Alex Rios lifted a long fly ball to right field for the sacrifice, and that was that. No really, that was that. Nothing more contributed.
Having cruised into the 7th inning only having surrendered 1 hit, Quintana retired Carl Crawford and then proceeded to surrender three singles without giving up the one run lead. The first two, hit by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez, set up a 2 on, 1 out situation for the previous night’s villain, Cody Ross. Ross hit a single to left and Pedroia prepared to make the big turn at third base to come tie up the game, but Tim Bogar held him up having no idea that Dayan Viciedo was about to bobble the ball which would have allowed Pedroia to score rather easily. Will Middlebrooks then lined a ball to Alexei Ramirez, who had trouble with the spin, stumbled, recovered, and fired to second to begin the 6-4-3 inning ending double play. Crisis averted.
Oh but Cody Ross wasn’t done with hero opportunities on the night. Matt Thornton began the 9th for Chicago with Carl Crawford hitting from the left side. Crawford singled and Thornton remained on to face Pedroia. A coulda-been double play later, Pedroia was standing on first and Eduardo Escobar, playing in place of Kevin Youkilis, was the goat-in-waiting. Adrian Gonzalez got himself a single despite not having any previous success against Thornton. One could assume the reason Thornton started the inning was to face the two lefties, both of whom he allowed to reach base. Having seen that plan fail, Robin called on Addison Reed: Closer. He failed to close. The first batter he faced, our old friend Cody Ross, continued his streak of hot hitting by launching one over the monster to end the game, sending Jose Quintana home with no win despite his 8 shutout innings. This is not the first time it’s happened to the poor guy this year.
Plus: The White Sox bats didn’t find themselves in this one, but they very nearly didn’t need to thanks to another hefty effort from Jose Quintana. Quintana was not overpowering, he only struck two batters out, but there wasn’t much barreling up of the ball for Boston hitters. A light breeze blowing in might have been of assistance at some point, but I won’t commit to that.
Minus: Where is that offense? First we complained that Jake Peavy couldn’t get a win despite going 8 or 9 strong innings on multiple occasions. Now we have Jose Quintana who gets saddled with no-decisions anytime he goes deep without allowing runs. The theme of this season could very well be tough luck losses for quality pitchers. That’s not a good look. When first place is on the line at Comerica this weekend, run support will be necessary.
Player of the Game
Jose Quintana – .683 Win Expectancy added