Life in a post-John Danks, grimly serious contender future began Tuesday night against the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, but Jose Quintana is an awfully firm foot with which to step out into the cold, cruel world.
1. While Chris Sale is tooling around with reduced velocity, and a less aggressive approaches, Quintana is still all about revving up his best fastball and blowing it by people, no matter how fearsome the lineup. Fresh off 10 strikeouts against the Blue Jays, Quintana breezed through the Red Sox lineup for eight innings of one-run ball.
He was not without help. Both Adam Eaton and Austin Jackson made leaping catches near or at the warning track. But popping 94 mph with an excellent curve is a good way to keep from being perfectly squared up, and despite some hard contact, Quintana held Boston to four hits on the night.
2. It waited an inning, but the White Sox predilection for jumping all over relievers cropped up in the eighth, as Jose Abreu scooped a two-run double to left to add insurance runs on Boston right-hander Junichi Tazawa. The breakout inning was started off by a perfect Eaton bunt single down the third base line and Jimmy Rollins working a walk; one of seven drawn by Sox hitters on the night. The Red Sox drew zero.
3. Abreu, who added an RBI triple off the center field wall in the third inning, had his fifth multi-hit game in a row, and sixth in his last seven games. In that time span, he’s raised his batting average over 75 points, but most importantly flashed power to all fields again Tuesday night. Combined with a warm weekend in Chicago, his stats could be looking very normal soon.
4. Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright remains as inscrutable as ever. The Sox added a second tally on him in third inning almost entirely due to the fact that he lost all control and walked three batters, but otherwise Abreu’s booming first-inning triple was the rare instance where he was squared up at all. He’s still seen as just “the knuckleballer” randomly getting starts on a contending team, but he has a 1.67 ERA and the White Sox should probably be thankful he was matched up against Quintana.
5. David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his, yes, ninth save of the season. He’s already had 10 save opportunities in a little over a month, after getting 41 last season.
Team Record: 19-8
Next game is Wednesday vs. Boston at 7:10pm CT on ESPN and WPWR
Lead Image Credit: David Banks // USA Today Sports Images