The first innings of Dan Haren and Jose Quintana could not have been more different. Quintana allowed walks and hits until he had watched 4 runs score and made 37 pitches. Dan Haren used just 14 pitches, and with those he earned 3 strikeouts. On the heels of a Friday night in which the White Sox struggled to make contact against Ervin Santana, things did not seem to be headed in a better direction on Saturday.
White Sox (81-70): 2
Angels (83-69): 4
Quintana, to my great surprise, stayed in the game, and to my further surprise, had a quiet 1-2-3 follow up inning. A scoreless 3rd followed and it seemed that things were going to turn around for the arm-tired young Colombian. Then things got weird. A single and a walk put runners on first and second and Quintana had a continuous interest in the baserunners. At one point, while Paul Konerko was not holding Chris Ianetta on, Quintana threw over, Paulie reached for and caught the ball, seeming to tag ianetta out. A balk was called by first base umpire Ed Hickox. As it were, Quintana escaped it, he walked the batter he was facing to load up the bases, nobody out, and he got out of the inning without allowing a score. Nothing lost but the manager, Robin Ventura who was displeased by the call and let Hickox know about it until he’d heard enough.
No harm, no foul, I suppose, but it appears Robin had a valid beef. Rule 8.05(d):
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when…The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;
Seems to me there was a purpose of making a play, being that the runner would have been tagged out. Oh well…But way to go out there and let him know about it, Robin.
Haren gave the Sox some hope, first serving up a Paul Konerko bomb in the 2nd inning, and allowing a pair of hits in the 3rd but viewing status was set to “frustrating,” and the Pale Hose continued to fail to convert a number of opportunities with runners aboard. Haren would wind up going 6 innings, allowing 2 runs and after that 3 K 1st inning, he only notched one more for a 4 strikeout night. Adam Dunn laughs at that. Haren’s second run allowed came while he watched from the dugout. Alex Rios’ lead-off single ended the night for Anaheim’s heavy browed right hander and Rios would come around on a Dewayne Wise groundout after advancing to third on an A.J. Pierzynski double.
“Fun” fact: both White Sox errors were committed by pitchers.
Plus: Four runs in the 1st seemed to spell doom mean a long and terrible night for anybody looking for a Southsider victory. An impressive recovery from Jose Quintana and some excellent bullpen support from Nate Jones (2 innings) and Brett Myers (1 inning). If you’re into looking at “official” pitching lines you could look at Quintana’s a a positive: 5 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run. Well, and 5 walks and 3 huge unearned runs.
Minus: Four runs in the 1st spelled doom. Some of those four runs may have been avoided had Quintana been able to properly field a bunt, a should-have-been out that eventually came around to score and padded his line on the night to read just one earned run. That 1st inning was a terrible thing.
Player of the Game:
Alex Rios – .089 WPA