The one thing that comforted White Sox fans during the team's awful May was that the team was rarely run off the field.
Well, the White Sox were just swept in Detroit -- their ninth straight loss to a divisional opponent -- and they looked largely outclassed over the weekend.
Sure, the Sox missed the still-inactive Austin Jackson and lost Melky Cabrera for the series with a family emergency, but they still found ways to hurt themselves outside of a lack of talent -- and literally, in the case of J.B. Shuck and Jason Coats colliding on Saturday.
Today, it was Jose Quintana with walks. He issued two unintentional walks on the day, and they both killed him.
Staked to his customary 1-0 lead, Quintana allowed the Tigers to tie it in the third. The mistake: walking Cameron Maybin with two outs, as it brought Miguel Cabrera to the plate and gave him a chance to tie the game with a double.
The fifth was four times as painful. With one out, Quintana allowed a broken-bat single and a defensive-swing double to put runners on second and third for Cabrera. Quintana intentionally walked him to bring Victor Martinez to the plate, and Quintana won that matchup with a popout in foul territory.
So he saw daylight, and saw more of it when he got ahead of J.D. Martinez 0-2. Then he threw four straight out of the zone, none of which Martinez was tempted to swing at, and Quintana inexplicably brought the go-ahead run home.
Nick Castellanos followed with a hot grounder that a diving Tyler Saladino kept from getting to the outfield, which scored one run, but saved a second from scoring. But then Quintana fell behind 3-0 to Justin Upton, and when Quintana came at him with a fastball, Upton turned on it to score two more, putting the game out of reach.
Quintana only received two runs of support -- Todd Frazier joined Abreu with a solo homer, both on high Justin Verlander fastballs -- but when you walk in a run with two outs after getting ahead 0-2, you deserve whatever happens after.
That said, the White Sox offense botched a couple of golden scoring opportunities.
In the third, the bottom of the order set up the top when Alex Avila walked and Tyler Saladino doubled to put runners on second third. First, Adam Eaton faltered by hitting a weak chopper to Verlander. Then, Jason Coats, batting second for reasons nobody really understands, struck out chasing high fastballs for the second time in as many at-bats. Jose Abreu ended the threat by chasing a breaking ball away.
Two innings later, Jimmy Rollins led off with a double, then took third on Avila's flyout to right center. With the infield in for a 1-1 game, Saladino grounded sharply to the left side, but not sharply enough, as Jose Iglesias snagged it with a dive for a 6-3 putout. Then Eaton tried to surprise the Tigers, but James McCann was able to chase down his bunt and throw him out by an inch of a step.
Quintana gave way in the bottom of that inning, and although Frazier got back one of those four runs with a solo shot, they didn't threaten again. The Tigers outhit the Sox 12-5 today and 37-21 for the series, even with both Chris Sale and Quintana taking starts.