Instant Rationalization - Nice try, Jose

Instant Rationalization - Nice try, Jose
You too. Nice try, A.J. // Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune

The fourth test of whether or not Jose Quintana's vast array of 92 mph fastballs could make it through a major league lineup multiple times went as well as the other three.

Sure, he only had one strikeout.

Sure, he looked eminently hittable all night and depended on incredible defense from Orlando Hudson and multiple double plays to get out of the jams he created every inning.

And sure, he made an 0-2 mistake to Jose Bautista in the 6th that landed in Des Plaines.

But Quintana did his job.  He recorded a quality start, and Gavin Floyd will listen with rapt attention if he wants to explain his "blind luck" strategy.

Quintana's only sin was being up against Toronto starter Brandon Morrow at the height of his powers.  It wasn't a fair match-up, but it was a lot closer than the match-up of every Sox hitter save for Pierzynski vs. Morrow.

Blue Jays 4, White Sox 0

Key Performances

Brandon Morrow - CG, SHO, 2 H, 5 K, 2 BB - Dominant, and also somewhat emasculating.  The White Sox offense was still hot going into this game, even without Konerko.  They are no longer.

Jose Quintana - 6 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, BB, K, HR - Perfectly decent, no-frills strike-throwing.  This should inspire several misguided calls for him to join the rotation.

A.J. Pierzynski - 2 for 3 - Not only was he the only Sox player to record a hit, but when Lillibridge pinch-ran for him in the 8th, he was immediately caught stealing.

Turning Point

With a runner on 1st and no outs in the 5th, Jays LF Rajai Davis hit into a tailor-made double play, but was safe thanks to a poor call at 1st base.  He promptly stole second, and scored on a two-out single to put the Jays up 1-0.

Since the White Sox plan for victory largely relied upon the game going to the 12th still tied 0-0 (when Morrow would finally be pulled), this was really the nail in the coffin.

Things Would Be Different If...

Paul Konerko sat out his third-straight game after having a bone chip in his wrist moved around, so it can always be speculated that he would have hit three home runs off of Morrow and carried the team to victory.

Otherwise, the only conclusion to make is that Quintana squirted out of trouble thanks to an amazing defensive effort, and the Sox still weren't competitive.

Takeaway

Three losses in the last four games seems to mark the true end of the miraculous season-saving hot streak, but there's some consolation in that the next four games bring favorable pitching match-ups and National League offense to U.S. Cellular.  And also Lucas Harrell.

The White Sox are still in 1st place, and are one game away from being done with the AL East menace for a while.

 

Team Record, 31-25, .5 games up

 

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