Through five innings, the White Sox led 2-0 over Clayton Kershaw, and Jose Quintana put it on cruise control with 65 beautiful pitches.
By the end of six, Quintana was staring daggers 1,000 yards from the dugout.
"I'll give you 100 bucks if you go and talk to Jose right now." "No thanks." pic.twitter.com/ogMcDI1pqK— South Side Sox (@SouthSideSox) June 3, 2014
And for good reason. The defense crapped the bed behind him.
Quintana should have been out of the sixth after 15 pitches, because with one out and Clayton Kershaw on first, he induced a 4-6-3 double play ball from Matt Kemp. Except ... Gordon Beckham pulled up to start the process before the ball got to his glove, and it skipped underneath him to keep the Dodgers' inning alive with the dangerous Yasiel Puig coming to the plate.
OK, so Quintana went back to work. He struck out Puig on a letter-high fastball, then got Hanley Ramirez to hit a harmless bouncer down the third-base line. Conor Gillaspie fielded it, and Quintana should've been out of the inning after 23 pitches -- not optimal, but he had room for a little bloat.
Except ... for some reason, Gillaspie did not run to third base to beat the pitcher to the bag. He instead chose to throw across the diamond, which shouldn't have been his first option, but it could've worked. Except ...he short-armed the throw and gave Jose Abreu an in-between hop he couldn't handle. That turned a questionable choice into a boneheaded one, and it allowed the first Dodger run to cross the plate. Los Angeles tied the game a batter later when Adrian Gonzalez's soft liner tipped off Quintana's glove and made Beckham range too far to his right to make an accurate throw.
Quintana walked the next batter to load the bases, and Don Cooper came out to calm him down. The mound visit probably went something like this:
Quintana responded by jamming Justin Turner ... for a bloop single. Drew Butera followed with a bouncer through the right side, and by the time Quintana recorded his sixth out of the inning, the Sox defense put five unearned runs on his tab over 40 pitches. He should've been able to complete seven innings, and instead he was forced to settle for an unsatisfactory six. It did technically qualify as a quality start, and he lowered his ERA to 3.31, both of which provide small solace.
It all came out of nowhere, too, because the Sox played such a satisfying game up until that point. Quintana hit his spots, Beckham made a couple of sterling plays behind him to rob Puig of two hits, and the offense stunned Kershaw with a quick 1-2 punch that could've been enough. Beckham was behind that too, breaking up Kershaw's perfect game bid with one out in the fourth, followed by a triumphant home run by Abreu in his first game back from the disabled list.
Instead, Kershaw completed eight and emerges the victor, Beckham heads back to the hotel with a couple errors to his credit, Quintana's lack of support is taken to new levels in terms of cruelty, and the Sox are back below .500 again.