CLEVELAND -- Jose Quintana probably would like to bottle up everything he felt in Friday night’s 6-0 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Not only did the White Sox pitcher finally get some well-deserved run support, he also earned the first complete game and shutout of his career. Quintana struck out eight batters in a seven-hitter to lead the White Sox.
“I feel good, man,” Quintana said. “My first shutout. It’s an amazing feeling when you walk off the field when the game is over. I feel good in my heart. I try to get that win, and keep going and go for more wins.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said a mid-inning chat with Quintana after the eighth convinced him to stick with the left-handed pitcher. Quintana had thrown 104 pitches but the White Sox offense came to life late and opened up the six-run cushion, somewhat of a rarity for Quintana.
Quintana entered the game with 2.63 runs of support per contest, which ranked as the lowest in the American League and second-lowest in the majors. Despite the lack of support, Quintana has never wavered in his effort or pointed fingers at his teammates.
“He’s a tough,” Ventura said. “He doesn’t take anything for granted. He’s earned everything he’s got. You are just happy for him. He’s an extremely hard worker. It would be easy for some people just to be down on kind of the situation he’s been handed as far as not getting a lot of run support over his time, but he doesn’t let that ever affect him. He goes back out there and he grinds and everything else.”
Catcher Tyler Flowers said Quintana got through a difficult first three innings with the use of his offspeed pitches against an aggressive Indians lineup. Quintana got through even though he allowed five base hits.
Flowers also credited Quintana for his ability to get ahead of batters -- he threw strikes on 78 of 120 pitches and didn’t issue a walk.
“He was pretty good all day, the changeup was working for him, he was locating breaking balls, we were getting guys to chase some late whether it be up or down,” Flowers said. “But a really good job getting ahead of guys, two of the first three in there for the most part for strikes, it gives you a lot of options after that.”
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The effort also led to the receipt of the game ball for Quintana, who won for the first time since July 1. Despite a 3.56 ERA, Quintana is 5-9 this season. That’s in part because the White Sox have scored a total of five runs for him in his nine losses.
The lavish support received had Quintana planning to flip the gameball to himself before he turns in for the night.
“I have the game ball right here,” Quintana said. “I try to throw tonight in my bed. That’s good.”