An 11:35 start time is a little rough for the working folk, as the attendance in Baltimore would confirm. To the surprise of the folks in the greater Baltimore area the White Sox and Orioles did play a game this afternoon, and it wasn’t an encouraging one for the Sox. Jose Quintana has been surprisingly good throughout the season and has been pushed further than he ever has in his professional career. Unfortunately today it looked like it may be catching up with him as he was unable to handle the O’s and the Sox drop 3 out of 4 against the Orioles.
White Sox (72-58): 5
Orioles (72-58): 3
The rally the White Sox were putting together in the 2nd inning looked like it might be put to rest early when A.J. Pierzynski, trying to score on an Alexei Ramirez single neglected to slide as he was cut down a the plate by Adam Jones. The hot hitting (ha!) Gordon Beckham followed with a single of his own to ensure a run would go on the board though, and the Sox carried a 1-0 lead until Jose Quintana ran into trouble in the 3rd. By ran into trouble I essentially mean he completely fell apart. After putting down the first 8 batters he faced, a Taylor Teagarden 2-out HR sparked a rally as Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy would followed with a pair of doubles. Adam Jones then hit a 2-run homer and Mark Reynolds smacked a double high off the wall. After giving up a single to Nate McLouth the following inning, a runner that would eventually score, Quintana was lifted from the game.
In the 9th the White Sox made it interesting. Some singles strung together by Rios, Hector Gimenez and Alexei Ramirez scored a pair and brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Gordo. He wouldn’t be able to capitalize, however, and the loss was complete. If you’re looking for some additional offense to smile about I suppose you could raise just one corner of your mouth at the fact that Jose Lopez, in his Sox debut managed 2 hits in his 4 at-bats. Alexei Ramirez, swinging a fairly hot bat of late went 3-4.
Plus: The aforementioned bullpen. Had the Sox scored some more runs, or Quintana’s meltdown been less fruitful for the Orioles, the bullpen would have kept the team in the game.
Minus: A.J. Pierzynski is in a very serious slump. He’s oh for his last 17 and has looked absolutely terrible in each of those at-bats. There was a spell earlier in the year in which A.J. could be seen throwing his bat and/or helmet to the ground following every at-bat, but this particular stretch has A.J. looking more frustrated than I think I’ve ever seen him. He’s in the midst of the best season of his career, and this time of the year is never friendly to catchers, but A.J. is going to have to pull something together and make himself useful if the Sox are going to keep Detroit at bay.
Player of the Game:
Nate Jones – .039 WPA