White Sox

Jose Quintana strong again but White Sox lose in extras to Tigers

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Jose Quintana strong again but White Sox lose in extras to Tigers

DETROIT -- Another great season by Jose Quintana continues to go largely unrewarded.

While the White Sox avoided a combined no-hitter with a ninth-inning rally on Tuesday night, they failed yet again to deliver offense for Quintana in a 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Tyler Saladino tripled with one out in the ninth off Neftali Feliz to break up the Tigers’ no-hit bid and scored on Adam Eaton’s RBI single to take Quintana off the hook for what would have been another difficult loss. But Quintana earned his 12th no decision of the season and major-league leading 51st since 2012 despite only allowing a run in seven innings. Detroit won in the 10th on a two-out RBI triple by Rajai Davis off Zach Duke.

“It’s a shame,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “Thank goodness (Quintana) didn’t take the loss today with how well he did and how deep he went into the game, again against a lineup that gives him a hard time.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox offense has been notoriously bad with Quintana on the mound this season, producing two runs or fewer of support in 19 of his 31 starts.Those totals include seven total runs scored in Quintana’s 10 losses.

They were even worse on Tuesday.

Tigers starter Daniel Norris -- who worked on a strict pitch count -- retired all 15 batters he faced with ease. Reliever Buck Farmer struck out two in the sixth to keep a perfect bid alive for the Tigers, who never before had a combined no-hitter in club history. Ian Krol ended the perfect game when he hit Eaton with the second pitch of the seventh inning but retired the next three batters and passed the baton to Drew VerHagen, who delivered a perfect eighth inning.

“It’s kind of the same for (Quintana) -- there’s nothing there as far as getting scraps,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

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Saladino broke up the no-hitter in the ninth inning with a one-outtriple to left center off Neftali Feliz and Eaton singled past a drawn-in infield.

But the production arrived long after the departure of Quintana, who easily maneuvered his way through Tigers lineup for six innings. Quintana induced three double plays through five innings and faced only three over the minimum through six.

J.D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos and James McCann all singled with one out in the seventh inning to end the scoreless tie. But Quintana struck out Anthony Gose to strand two runners to end the inning.

He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out five with strikes on 71 of 110 pitches.

“I knew (about the no-hitter) because I had the scoreboard right in front of me,” Quintana said. “That’s part of the game. The other starter threw five perfect innings. Every time when I go out I try to be focused on what I have control over.”

In his last 4 starts, Quintana is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 27 innings. He has allowed four runs (three earned) and 23 hits with five walks and 21 strikeouts.

Quintana -- who needs to record eight outs for his third straight season of at least 200 innings -- lowered his earned-run average to 3.38 and his Fielding Independent Pitching to 3.11, which is 16th lowest in the majors, according to fangraphs.com.

Despite a career ERA-plus of 115, Quintana never has received notoriety, not that he minds. Still, he’s never sniffed an All-Star roster spot nor do you ever hear his name mentioned among the American League’s top pitchers and it may stem from his career record, which sits at 33-34 through 121 games (118 starts).

Even so, Flowers said Quintana has the ability to focus every time out and never complains, which is why he believes he has been as successful as he has.

“I would guess (the record is) part of it,” Flowers said. “You look up at the end of the day and you see a guy, whatever his record is, it doesn’t stand out as someone to really take notice of but he definitely is. He’s definitely one of our horses here and continues to prove that every time he’s out there. Unfortunately we don’t seem to come up with that many runs for him.”

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: