It’s tough for White Sox fans to feel good going into any game against Jeremy Guthrie, who has dominated the team in recent years. Even though Sox starter Jose Quintana has been very good this year, he has not been able to find success against the Kansas City Royals, coming into this one at 0-4 (nine starts) on his career. Unfortunately, the weekend series opener stuck to the script, and it did so from the get-go.
The top of the first inning began with five consecutive base knocks, six in total on the inning, as the Royals went up 5-0 before the good guys ever came to bat.
For a pitcher like Quintana, this type of thing will happen once in a while. He’s a guy that does not at all rely on his stuff to get him outs, and instead leans on his ability to change speeds and hit his spots. This is something he’s been able to do nearly every time out over the first couple years of his big league career, but sometimes he’s just going to be a bit off, with his fastball too straight and his pitches floating out and over the zone.
We saw the same from Mark Buehrle throughout his White Sox career. You just have to take the bad with the good and keep in mind that though the bad starts may be very bad, Quintana is a pitcher that will put the team in a great opportunity to win nearly every time out.
Jose surrendered another run in the top of the second, and despite a 34-pitch first, was able to stick around through six innings. In frames three through six, he let up just one base hit while striking out four. It was, at the least, a valiant effort that should help save the bullpen moving forward.
His final line: 6.0 IP, 110 pitches, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
While it was great to see Quintana keep his team in it as best he could after the disastrous first, the south siders’ offense just couldn’t come up with the big hits against Guthrie to tighten the ball game.
The 35 year old was not on his A-game, letting up six hits and walking four in 5.2 innings, but he was able to minimize the damage, which is really all he needed to do given his team’s lead. The Sox got on the board with one run of their own in the first as well as the second, but really missed out on a golden opportunity in that second inning.
They had the bases loaded and nobody out, but the only run they could muster was on a one-out Adam Eaton RBI-walk. The club collectively squandered a few more opportunities from there on out as the Royals cruised to a 7-2 victory.
Say what you want about Guthrie, but he obviously was not pitching his best baseball in this one and the Sox still went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That’s a verdict of bad offense, not stout pitching.
Photo Credit: Brian Kersey, Getty Images