With every remaining start this first half, Chicago White Sox fans will be watching Jose Quintana with a hope that he'll start turning around his season. As the Major League Baseball draft begins this week, it's only a short amount of time when general managers switch gears and look for ways to improve their contending teams. A hot streak from Quintana could do wonders in helping the rebuilding White Sox in acquiring more position player talent that their farm system desperately needs.
Both fans and the front office will have to wait a little bit longer.
Quintana was OK as he could only manage five innings on 95 pitches and received his eighth loss of 2017, as the Cleveland Indians edged the Sox, 4-2.
It was a great start for Quintana in the first, striking out Daniel Robertson on three pitches before battling with Francisco Lindor. On two foul balls, Lindor just missed an extra-base hit down the right field line and a home run that hooked left into foul territory. Despite the danger, Quintana froze Lindor with a fastball on the outside corner to strike him out. It appeared for a short while that the old "Q" was back.
Then he followed that up with a 29-pitch second inning and relinquished the lead on Edwin Encarnacion's double that was just a couple feet short of a home run to left. Quintana would do a good job to limit the damage to just one run, but he was at 42 pitches after two innings.
That worry reversed a little bit after the third inning when Quintana only threw seven pitches total after allowing a leadoff single. Getting his pitches per inning back on track was short lived, as the Indians busted the game open in the fourth inning.
Beginning with the dreaded leadoff walk to Encarnacion, Indians would have runners on first and second after a Jose Ramirez fielder's choice (thanks to a nifty play by Yolmer Sanchez) and Austin Jackson single. Catcher, Roberto Perez, hit a deep fly out to center field that allowed Ramirez to tag up and advance to third base.
At the plate was Erik Gonzalez, who quickly fell behind in the count 0-2 after fouling off Quintana's 93 mph fastball. This situation is where Quintana's struggles become apparent because Omar Narvaez called for the low curveball in the dirt, but it bounced, and Narvaez couldn't handle it. Ramirez scored on the wild pitch, and Cleveland was up 2-0. Working it to a full count, Gonzalez took a 92 mph fastball to center field, scoring Jackson and Cleveland was in control, 3-0.
After a three-up, three-down fifth inning, Quintana's day was done with a final line of 5 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 K.
The White Sox offense struggled against Indians starter, Carlos Carrasco until the sixth inning. After hitting Jose Abreu in the elbow with one out, the Sox were able to make Carrasco pay with doubles from Avisail Garica and Todd Frazier. The "Toddfather" had a great day hitting 3-for-4 with the double, two singles and the two runs batted in. Cleveland manager, Terry Francona, lifted Carrasco for the super reliever, Andrew Miller to face Yolmer Sanchez.
It was a good battle as Sanchez gave Miller a scare taking an outside pitching and almost getting to land right on the right field line chalk. Instead, the at-bat ended with a pitch off the outside corner that was called for strike three. Tim Anderson would follow up with a strikeout of his own, one of four on the day, and Miller had ended the White Sox rally.
This loss finished the nine-game road trip as the White Sox were 2-and-7 away from home. They are now 26-35 on the season which is on pace to finish with 69 wins in 2017.