White Sox 5, Tigers 4: Quintana and Eaton lead Sox despite unhinged ninth inning

The White Sox have…had a weekend. Sunday saw them attempt to return to normalcy by carving out a respectable result in a four-game series with the Tigers, and have someone actually making their scheduled turn in the rotation for once, but still featured a bullpen that had covered 14.2 innings in the last two games.

That part would become a factor.

1. Melky Cabrera rapped a hard grounder down the third base line and beyond the dive of Nick Castellanos in the bottom of the ninth to bring Adam Eaton around from third, giving the Sox their second walk-off victory in roughly five hours.

The Tigers stubbornly and inexplicably brought on Bruce Rondon rather than Francisco Rodriguez into a 4-4 tie in the ninth, and nearly immediately paid for it, which prevented the Sox from having to think about what just happened too deeply.

2.  A half inning earlier David Robertson came on to lock down a 4-1 game in the ninth. He had pitched a scoreless inning earlier in the afternoon, and came into the game Saturday night. Maximum freshness was not anticipated, but giving up three separate solo shots was probably a bit beyond the pale. A bomb to the breaking out Castellanos was one thing, but somewhere between the likes of Tyler Collins planting a ball out 400 feet to right and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drilling the equalizer with two outs, it became clear he was uniquely worn out. Somehow he got out of the inning with just a tie.

Nate Jones, who merely was working three days in a row, rather than dealing with multiple outings in the same day, allowed Andrew Romine his first home run of the season while delivering four outs of relief. The Sox have four-straight games against the Cubs coming up. Hooray!

3. Jose Quintana wasn’t as sharp as 6.2 scoreless innings, with only four baserunners, lowering his ERA under 3.00 for the year, would all imply, perhaps because of the intensity of the sharpness which those credentials imply. He relied on more than a handful of deep flyouts to the wall and was the beneficiary of a pair of excellent running catches at the warning track from Cabrera and J.B. Shuck, who flew in the right-center gap and made a snow cone snag to rob Castellanos before he hurtled into the fence in the seventh.

But it was a hot, obviously lively day at the park, and Quintana kept the ball in the yard, and expended 117 pitches to save as much work from the pen as he could. He’s a good one.

4. Eaton was the other stalwart of the day, reaching base four times, scoring three times, and drilling the three-run home run off a Anibal Sanchez hanging splitter in the second inning that carried the Sox for…nearly the whole game. Any run the Sox scored, he had a hand in it. The Sox are an incomplete team with too many holes to overcome, but just two of their core pieces going berserk at the same time makes them look legit.

5. Jose Abreu collected two hits, but was robbed at the wall by Justin Upton when his high fly ball threatened to be blown into the left field bullpen. He has now gone over 100 plate appearances without a home run.


Team Record: 48-50

Next game is Monday at 7:10 pm CT vs. the Cubs on ABC 7 or CSN Chicago


Lead Image Credit: David Banks // USA Today Sports Images

Related Articles

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username