Eliminating the rain delayed outing in Yankee Stadium, Jose Quintana had reeled off five-straight quality starts. His ERA hasn’t so much as drifted above 4.00 since April 17, or dropped below 3.48 since May 21. There’s a sense that you know what you’re getting with the man: he’s rarely elite but he’s good enough to win.
But for only the 14th time in 31 starts, Quintana actually factored into the decision thanks…well, mostly to himself. The Official and Verified Second-Best Starter on the White Sox worked six innings, striking out five and walking only two and picked up the victory in a 4-3 White Sox win (two in a row!). The only run Quintana allowed–an RBI double from Trevor Plouffe in the third inning–was enabled by a double play that was botched when Gordon Beckham‘s throw pulled Paul Konerko off the bag.
And that really set the tone for the latter half of the game. After the Sox finished providing a decent amount of run support, and after Jordan Danks whisked Quintana out of the fourth inning with a glittering diving stab in short right field, Jose’s teammates started methodically turning up the difficulty level notch-by-notch, and checking to see if his tenuous hold on his eighth win of the season survived.
Brian Dozier picked up an infield single with one out in the fifth when Beckham couldn’t make a clean pick on a grounder, so Quintana responded by picking Dozier off. After a one out double by Ryan Doumit in the sixth, Quintana induced a grounder to third from Josh Willingham that kicked off Marcus Semien‘s heel for an error. When Quintana induced a possible inning-ending double play from catcher Josmil Pinto, Alexei Ramirez‘s throw to second required Beckham to crouch to pick it out of the dirt with no time to make the turn, and getting the final out of the sixth pushed Quintana over the 100 pitch mark and out of the game.
Jake Petricka led off the seventh inning by walking Darin Mastroianni on four pitches, throwing a wild pitch, and allowing two singles. One of those singles was just a groundball to the hole at short that Ramirez possibly unwisely chose to scoop and dive after the speedy Mastroianni sliding into third with, but all the same Petricka left without retiring anyone, the game at 4-2, and a runner in scoring position, who came around to score from yet another bad throw from a curiously off Beckham.
But the hijinks have only been part of the problem this season. The lack of runs to cover up the hijinks has been the issue, and Tuesday night, an average contribution was enough, even if everyone had to sweat out a Plouffe fly ball to the wall off Addison Reed that Alejandro De Aza leapt and snagged.
As long as he keeps switching it, every wonky decision by Robin Ventura about who to place in the No. 3 slot seems to work out upon first glance. Season-long offensive disappointment Dayan Viciedo got the nod to be in the traditional point of most resistance in the lineup, and responded by singling three times, the last two of which–a flared single to center and a bullet to left–plated the third and fourth runs of the night: the most support Quintana has received this month in four starts.
A spectacular diving stab from Alexei Ramirez, who reached base three times, double, drove in a run and scored, ended the night and a shaky ninth from Reed.
Team Record: 60-91
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